DC Beach Blanket Bad Guys Special #1 Review

by Hussein Wasiti on July 25, 2018

Writers: Lee Bermejo, Jeff Loveness, Paul Dini, Vita Ayala, Gabriel Hardman, Corinna Bechko, Michael Moreci, Tim Seeley, Shea Fontana, Daniel Kibblesmith, Collin Kelly, and Jackson Lanzing Artists: Francesco Mattina, David Williams, John Paul Leon, Amancay Nahuelpan, Gabriel Hardman, Max Raynor, Minkyu Jung, Carlos D’Anda, Laura Braga, and Giuseppe Camuncoli
Inker: Cam Smith
Colourists: Steve Buccellato, June Chung, Matt Wilson, Paul Mounts, John Kalisz, Luis Guerrero, Arif Prianto, and Tomeu Morey
Letterers: Tom Napolitano, Carlos M. Mangual, Deron Bennett, Clayton Cowles, and Dave Sharpe

Strap in. This is an enormous, mega-sized issue which warrants a bit of an over-sized review. I want to give every story included in this issue a bit of commentary, be it good or bad. I’m also going to grade these stories on whether or not they’re truly summer-themed or if they just might be pages filed away in some cabinet that have now resurfaced.


“Worst Finest” by Lee Bermejo and Francesco Mattina. I mainly know Mattina from his covers which I don’t really find appealing. He doesn’t do much interior work to my knowledge but this looked quite good overall, save for a few obviously traced or heavily referenced faces. Otherwise, the story is pretty bad. Bermejo’s writing is fine, and he very strangely apes a few details from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice with a line of dialogue and a visual bit. I’m not sure if it’s intentional or not. The writing is slightly nonsensical and I don’t really get what the hell is going on. Save for taking place on a beach and a brief appearance of some sunscreen, it’s not very summer themed.


“Help” by Jeff Loveness and David Williams. This is actually pretty fantastic. I’m not familiar at all with these creators and I loved Williams’ artwork. It’s fresh, bright, and expressive, and fits very nicely with what the tone of the book should be. His Superman is great too. As for Loveness’ writing, I really loved his plot and the overall theme of the piece. I’m a sucker for some feel-good Superman stories, and this should be essential reading for people that don’t see the appeal of Superman. The framing of the story is hilarious to me. Lex finds himself stuck in the middle of nowhere after his car breaks down, and he gets into a conversation with a man who stops to help him. This is fantastic and is my second favourite story in the book. There are obvious references to the heat but not much else summer, but I’ll give it a pass.

“Close Shave” by Paul Dini and John Paul Leon. Anything John Paul Leon draws has a massive advantage. This story is gorgeous. And also fun and fantastic. It’s my favourite story in this issue. Mr. Freeze is out testing his giant robot mecha suit and he comes across a bit of a scuffle between two different ice cream trucks vying for the same corner. Freeze interjects, and it’s cute as hell. It’s definitely summer-themed given references to the sweltering heat, and the presence of ice cream.


“False Idols” by Vita Ayala and Amancay Nahuelpan. This was… very boring. It wasn’t summer themed in the slightest, and was so badly paced. The art was nice. I haven’t seen any of Nahuelpan’s work but I mostly dug their rendition of the characters, and the storytelling was nice. It was really hampered by the dull script, though, which is a shame.


“Icy Embrace” by Gabriel Hardman and Corinna Bechko. I love Gabriel Hardman’s artwork. This was an alright issue, though. It’s a bit on the cliche side which is disappointing since I really like this creative team. It’s a Black Manta story. The premise is fun enough, but it’s missing something. It doesn’t exactly scream summer, since it takes place in some frozen tundra.


“Giganta Strong” by Michael Moreci and Max Raynor. This was pretty fun. I loved Raynor’s fun and expressive art, and Moreci delivered one of the better plots I’ve read from him in a while. Giganta goes back to her hometown and remembers why she left it. There isn’t any redemption for the character, so it’s fun seeing a character who knows she’s a terrible person just run around and be a dick. There’s a fair so there’s a hint of it taking place in the summer.

“Cruel Summer” by Tim Seeley and Minkyu Jung. I don’t get this story at all. A lot of the stories in this book involve the villains realising that they have made a mistake or just do a good act, or perhaps show restraint. I’m not sure if these writers equate these themes with summer, or if these were just tucked away in some drawer and fished out to pad out this book. This has almost nothing to do with the summer aside from the fact that it’s daytime and the sun is out. And it’s not a very good story too, despite it looking gorgeous.


“Dog Days of Summer” by Shea Fontana and Carlos D’Anda. Same thing here. Gorgeous, but nothing to do with the summer. It’s a lot more enjoyable than a lot of the stories in this book, though.


“Perfect Gentleman” by Daniel Kibblesmith and Laura Braga. This might be the most summer-themed story of the bunch. It’s got everything. Insecurity about women, the futile desire to lose weight, and feeling inferior at the gym. It speaks to me personally I guess. But the issue overall is less than decent, truthfully. It’s needlessly convoluted and ends with a tease of more to come? Are you kidding me?


“Independence” by Collin Kelly, Jackson Lanzing, and Giuseppe Camuncoli. This was pretty bad. It had, get this, absolutely nothing to do with the summer. It’s a Crime Syndicate story and somehow manages to be boring as hell.


This took a lot of energy. A lot of these stories were forgettable but there were some gems in the bunch that I really enjoyed. However, is it worth the massive price tag to read three or so good stories? That depends on you, so go into it with an open mind.



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