|THE THING No. 3, March 2006|
Once again writer Dan Slott crams more excitement and more characters than you can shake a pointy stick at into a twenty-three page book. Not only does the reader finally see Nighthawk and The Constrictor fighting side-by-side with The Thing but the panels set in Murderland Studios provides Divito ample opportunity to draw every sort of monster from the Horror film genre you can conceive of. King Kong, a Tyrannosaurus Rex, a H.R. Giger alien and even Edward Scissorhands are all wonderfully depicted by the Italian artist getting smacked around by Ben or blasted by Nighthawk’s energy beams. There’s even a delightful nod to cult ‘slasher’ movie villains such as Chuckie, Jason and Freddie, as Arcade’s mini-robot henchman Brynocki goes through a series of successive wardrobe changes.
In addition Slott’s script manages to feature a few more ‘guest appearances’ during the quieter moments of the story, and gives Alicia Masters, Matt Murdock, and thus later his costumed alter-ego Daredevil, an opportunity to also progress the plot.
However all this content is somewhat spoilt by the overly dark colouring of Andrea Divito’s pencilling by Laura Villari, which makes a lot of the action slightly hard to distinguish. Now it could be that as the majority of the story takes place on a private island in the South China Sea during a cloudy storm that there needs to be such heavy shadowing, or that the printing of the actual comic itself was a little off and caused all the colours’ tones to be darker than planned. But that seems doubtful.
Equally as perplexing is the American writer’s sudden change in the relationship between Ben and his girlfriend, Carlotta Larosa. Just because the motion picture actress suggests he may need the help of ex-con The Constrictor, The Thing instantly loses his temper and starts yelling at her that she’s only with him because of his money. This may well be true and has been previously hinted at. But the argument seems extremely forced and was presumably only manufactured in order to provide some justification for Larosa to secretly agree to pay Arcade in order for the villain to allow her safe passage off his island. All of which is utterly inconsistent with the smart quick-thinking character who calmly outwitted the evil genius in the preceding issue, in order to allow Tony Stark to hide himself within the machinery of the ‘Abusement Park’.
|Story: Dan Slott, Artist: Andrea DiVito, and Colors: Laura Villari|