PopCultHQ received a review copy of
COUGAR AND CUB #3 from Action Lab: Danger Zone.
Available on Wednesday, March 29th,
the creative team for this series includes
writing from Nick Marino and Rosie Knight,
with interior and cover art from Daniel Arruda Massa.
Here’s PopCultHQ’s spoiler-free review of the third issue of…
Artist: Daniel Arruda Massa
Cover Artist: Daniel Arruda Massa
After a preposterously public meltdown, our duo are more divided than ever! Billy Bobtail has abandoned the mantle of Cub for a new XTREME identity while Minerva Manx has abandoned crimefighting completely. Is the time ripe for Megaville’s supervillains to scrub out our heroes for good? Plus, head back to the heavy days of underground comics as our ferocious feline goes solo and ends up claws deep with some seriously psychedelic psychos!
After the chaos at Comic Con in the last issue, resulting in Megaville’s superhero duo being torn apart, issue three of COUGAR AND CUB shows how each of the crime-fighting couple is coping being companionless. Billy Bobtail has taken on the new moniker of Meowz and is trying to establish himself as a credible solo act, though his swagger and costume are mocked at Sidekick Academy. Meanwhile, the miserable Minerva Manx mourns her missing mate. Thanks to Esmeralda giving her the wake-up call she needed, our star superhero gets back on track and our Cougar has returned!
This issue also showcases more members of the mysterious mischief-makers, including Miss Chievous, The Roach, and Father Fornicator! These villains intent on taking Minerva down (which normally she’d be game for) take advantage of Cougar’s vulnerability now that she’s without back-up.
The throwback story, a feature in the latter pages in each issue of COUGAR AND CUB, continues to deliver some insight into Minerva’s background and earlier adventures when rollin’ solo was the norm. A fun addition to this title, this uncommon approach to revealing a character’s backstory is done remarkably well issue after issue. Plus, interior artist Daniel Arruda Massa get to show his range by producing a different style of illustrations. Fun stuff!
In my opinion, writer Nick Marino is quite possibly the best comedic writer in the business today. From his early work on SUPER HATERS to the more recent HOLY F&CK, Marino has shown he has a grasp of timely humor accompanied with strong writing. But it’s in COUGAR AND CUB where I feel he has surpassed even those earlier funny titles. From his narration to the personalities he’s given the characters in this series, the amusing innuendos and clever alliterations, and the “Nothing is Off-Limits” mentality, you’d be hard-pressed to find another title producing as many laughs as COUGAR AND CUB…and consistently, I might add. Even prior to reading issue three, Nick has become my go-to source when I’m in the mood to just chill and get silly. And it’s a feeling that follows me for hours after reading each issue. There’s something special in that.
I look forward to writer Rosie Knight’s work in every issue. Her stories found in the flashback sequences are wildly imaginative and delivered quite well. This issue’s contribution was actually a bit of a mind f*ck for me; I read it three times on three different occasions, and each time I found myself trying to process what I had just read for a good ten minutes after I stepped away. But I like that. It’s part of the beauty which Knight brings to the series. Though a different style of delivery from Marino, Knight can dish out the laughs just as well but takes you on intellectual thrill ride with her story. And after processing all of what she contributes to this issue, I have a newfound appreciation for the way this writer thinks. Look hard enough you’ll find just how intelligent and strategic Rosie’s writing can be.
Daniel Arruda Massa continues to create such fun characterizations in this series. With its almost cartoon style, Daniel’s art is a big part of the laughter in COUGAR AND CUB. From the over-the-top villains to his portrayal of the characters’ mannerisms, the artist shows he’s having a blast getting expressive and adding to the hilarity of the title. And I look forward to just how he will depict Rosie’s story each issue. It can be remarkable watching an artist showcase his craft on a number of levels in one issue. Mad respect.
When I read through C&C3 the second time, I couldn’t help but feel that the inks improved in issue three. Though subtle, the shading and outlines were a bit stronger, though I had never previously felt that the inking required more work. Arruda Massa also has implemented colors to near-perfection in COUGAR AND CUB. Whether primarys or pastels, its vibrance truly captures the tone and mood of each issue. That’s some D.A.M. fine work!
PopCultHQ’s overall assessment:
COUGAR AND CUB #3 is another solid offering by Marino, Knight, and Arruda Massa. The pace did feel like it slowed down a touch from the previous issue, but it still possesses everything that made issues one and two enjoyable: sharp comedic wit, colorful and lively art, a healthy dosage of rhyming and alliterations, and an all-around audacious absurdity with adult appeal.
What COUGAR AND CUB delivers every issue is a lighthearted, entertaining, and humorous superhero romp. It doesn’t fit any particular model for a comic book but that’s actually an asset to this awesome series. We’re still awaiting both Diaper Rash and Sugar Mama’s debut in action against Megaville’s protectors, but there’s also the question as to the identity of the obscure individual leading the town’s villains. I expect this will be a great reveal when it happens!
This is one of only a small handful of titles which I anticipate each month and the only series that delivers a lot of guaranteed laughs every time. With the final two issues currently being scheduled for their digital releases, and the plans for Action Lab to produce a graphic novel of the five-issue miniseries later in 2017 (a MUST buy!), it’s exciting to know that there is still more coming from the title and creative team. If you love some good ol’ adult humor, a quirky cast of characters, and are fans of tv cartoon series like Johnny Bravo, Dexter’s Lab, and Ren & Stimpy, then COUGAR AND CUB needs to be in your collection. It’s the perfect digital series to take with you on the go whenever you need a good laugh or to lighten your mood. It delivers all that and more!
4.5 Out of 5 Stars
COUGAR AND CUB #3 can be purchased now on ComiXology!
Be sure to follow the creative team!
Writer – Nick Marino
Writer – Rosie Knight
Artist – Daniel Arruda Massa
Publisher – Action Lab: Danger Zone