Story by Benjamin Bailey & Joey Esposito
Art and Cover by Boy “Boykoesh” Akkerman
Colours by Ed Ryzowski
Captain Ultimate #3 from MonkeyBrain Comics is a special origin issue for our eponymous hero. Written by Benjamin Bailey and Joey Esposito with art by Boy “Boykoesh” Akkerman, this little series gets better with every issue.
In case you’re not yet on the Captain Ultimate bandwagon this series recounts the exploits of a super buff, pomade-quiffed superhero called (funnily enough) Captain Ultimate. He’s attired in the necessary figure hugging spandex and has a moustache that makes it seem like Tom Selleck hasn’t hit puberty yet. In this origin issue we learn that how he came to have his powers bestowed upon him – thanks to a time traveling Carl Weathers lookalike with a magical belt. We also learn that captain Ultimate’s real name is Nick Mason. No he does not play drums for Pink Floyd, although that Nick Mason also used to have a sweet moustache. But i doubt he bathed his upper lip in milk as seems to be Captain Ultimate’s secret for such boss facial hair.
This Nick Mason finds work playing the bad guy in a traveling wrestling show, yet he yearns to be able to play the good guy hero. Lo and behold, upon donning the belt from the future he becomes the hero he wished he was and then some.
All this is recounted to us by super-sleuth investigative reporter Ricki Ratcliffe telling her hard charging editor Mitch Mackey Captain Ultimate’s backstory. There is much to love in this issue and series from both the writing team of Bailey and Esposito and the art of Akkerman. There are nods to more archetype superheroes, such as when captain Ultimate saves a train by bridging the missing track. If you look closely enough you will also find some famous faces from the comic book world in the background. Add to this Bailey and Esposito’s use of alliterative names for their supporting cast, which is a nice homage to comic book history and you have what is essentially a love letter to the medium.
This love for comics and sense of fun is depicted brilliantly with Akkerman’s art. He has a newspaper comic strip style, one you wouldn’t immediatley think would work in long form, but it does and to great effect. His cartoony style, including ever so slightly wonky lines (where they should be straight) add to the sense of fun in this all ages title.
As do the colours from Ed Ryzowski, which perfect;y evoke the cartoony tone and serve as a big part of the hook that will capture the attention of younger readers.
this is a great series that goes from strength to strength, one that i can speak from experience and say is most certainly all ages as my 5 year old daughter and I both love it. Only problem was she asked me who’d win in a fight between the two Captain’s, Ultimate and America. I couldn’t answer. Anyway that’s besides the point, you should jump on board Captain Ultimate if you have kids and even if you don’t, its just good old fashioned muscle-bound fun…in spandex…obviously.
Patrick is a contributing writer for Drunk On Comics. You can follow him on Twitter at @RepStones.