- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 3, 2011

This chronic feature lets me review what’s recently passed my bloodshot pupils. So pull up a chair, break out the sarcasm filter and welcome to Mr. Zad’s comic critique.

Captain Wonder 3D, one-shot (Image Comics, $4.99) — I still appreciate Marvel and DC’s greatest stars, but I certainly would love to follow the fresh exploits of a new superhero.

Unfortunately, I’m not yet sold on Captain Wonder.

It’s not because of Brian Haberlin’s storytelling ability. He introduces readers to a Man of Steel archetype, only to reveal that the hero has been missing in action for two months under mysterious circumstances, setting up a wonderful payoff in the first issue.

Young readers especially will warm up to Captain Wonder’s greatest fan, 10-year-old Billy Gordon, who plays an instrumental role in finding the hero.

Mr. Haberlin’s plot balances some great action scenes with the introduction of characters such as Black Raven and Fixer, really priming readers for a surprise finish.

Here, however, is my beef.

I understand multimedia companies are now consumed with the revenue potential of re-exploring 3-D.

Allow me to offer this bit of wisdom as a sequential art lover for the past four decades.

Three-D comics stink. Not only do you have to wear those annoying cardboard glasses, but you also have to read in perfect lighting conditions with the pages precisely parallel to the peepers.

The result is still an often-muddled mess.

Even worse, it destroys the ability to appreciate Philip Tan’s classic 1990s-style artwork. Take a look at his black-and-white pencils in the back of the book (take those glasses off, you idiot) and savor the detail.

Sequential art at its finest merges prose with the beauty of illustration, with no gimmicks required.

Captain Wonder has all the elements. Although this book is just a one shot, I hope the story continues, sans 3-D. Kids these days could use a fun superhero to follow.

Sir Edward Grey: Witchfinder, Lost and Gone Forever, No. 1, (Dark Horse Comics, $2.99)  — Appealing not only to fans of the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense, Mike Mignola’s latest five-part miniseries will hook Western comic book lovers in the mood for some occult trouble.

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