Arcade Kings #3 featured Reviews 

Wrapping Wednesday: Micro Reviews for the Week of 7/19/23

By | July 24th, 2023
Posted in Reviews | % Comments

There’s a lot to cover on Wednesdays. We should know, as collectively, we read an insane amount of comics. Even with a large review staff, it’s hard to get to everything. With that in mind, we’re back with Wrapping Wednesday, where we look at some of the books we missed in what was another great week of comics.

Let’s get this party started.

Arcade Kings #3
Written and Illustrated by Dylan Burnett
Colored by Walter Baiamonte & Sara Antonelli
Lettered by Andworld Design
Reviewed by Alexander Manzo

Dylan Burnett switches the perspective for the third issue of “Arcade Kings.” This time he gives the reader the viewpoint of Ken, Joe’s younger brother, that was previously shown as a punching bag for both his father and brother. Ken didn’t have the fighting chops back in the day, and though he’s grown, that chip on his shoulder has never left. Burnett depicts Ken as still a smaller-statured man, but even when working in the arcade as an owner checking the machines and his employees, his hands are still bandaged so he can be ready for a fight at any time. The formula remains the same as the previous issues; flashback, moving the main storyline, a fight scene, and a cliffhanger to the following issue. Yet, it still works. Burnett shows Ken getting beat up as a kid in video games to an adult getting stomped by a bunch of thugs, but once he’s pushed to the brink, he can shift into this strong, almost demonic state that can take out anyone in his way. The moment is built-up throughout the issue, so it’s not so much a surprise as it is a relief for the reader to see this sincere character be able to stand up and make a stance against those trying to take over small businesses for the sake of their leader, Victor McMax. One of the biggest takeaways from this issue in comparison to the previous two is that it shows the true David and Goliath aspect of the story with a giant corporation trying to take over the mom and pops, just for the namesake, rather than this being a straight revenge story.

Whenever a creator can do the writing and illustrations for their comics, it feels like they can fully tell the story they want to share with the world, and Burnett is no exception. He utilizes the panel work to feel like a manga or fighting video game cut scene. The fight scene between Ken and the thugs could have easily been a full splash page or three to four punches between the two, but instead, the dialogue is a crucial component to creating tension and build-up. Burnett fits as many panels as he can into his pages throughout the issue until the very end, when Ken has been beaten down, physically and emotionally, and finally gets a chance to breathe with the help of one of his employees. During this emotional breakdown, the panels are fewer and fewer as the tension dissipates. Walter Baiamonte and Sara Antonelli’s colors must also be recognized. The issue has tons of blues, pinks, and yellows to give it the pop needed for this Saturday morning cartoon vibe for the reader to enjoy. The action and tension are one thing, but without the colors to give it that extra push, the tone would be misconstrued entirely and not given the proper emotional value this book is creating.

Final Verdict:8.5 – This new perspective is what this series needed after a rocky number two, but with the brothers possibly united, the story can reach new heights.

The Vigil #3
Written by Ram V
Illustrated by Lalit Kumar Sharma and Sid Kotian
Colored by Rain Beredo
Lettered by Dave Sharpe
Reviewed by Alexander Jones

In a sea of crowded titles at DC, “The Vigil” stands out with a fascinating cast and intricate, espionage-tinged plotting. In the third issue of “The Vigil,” author Ram V is continuing to flesh out the individual cast members making up the team with a spotlight on the mysterious Saya. Previous issues of “The Vigil” have prominently featured dark pasts and tense emotion during the character spotlight moments. Let’s see if “The Vigil” #3 is able to maintain the strong tone captured throughout the series so far.

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One of the best aspects about DC’s “The Vigil” is how V explores the political implications with the title, including a spotlight on the mysterious Mr. Lightless. Getting the point of view of “The Vigil” also humanizes the character of Nia Saha and “The Vigil” feel like more than just a superhero title. The plotting in “The Vigil” #3 moves fast, featuring subplots with the rest of the team and a focus on some of the individual characters in the story. The final couple of moments of the issue spotlighting the interactions between “The Vigil” team members brings a welcomed mysterious nature to the plot.

Sharma’s work alongside Sid Kotian in the issue is quite remarkable. The curved line from Sharma allows for so much subtlety in the facial expressions. During the subplot with Dodge and Arclight, the art appears slightly rushed in moments. Typically Sharma will establish the background of the pages nicely but the line on the page appears to be imprecise in these moments. The last two pages of the issue return to the usual style and establish complicated subtext with great character acting in a meeting with Saya. Sharma renders Saya as an individual who has experienced emotional trauma thanks to adept expressions.

Final Verdict: 8.0 – “The Vigil” #3 captures incredible emotion with beautiful subtlety.

//TAGS | Wrapping Wednesday

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