A “Killer” New Phone in Goosebumps: Download and Die #1
Goosebumps: Download and Die #1 is the second story arc in IDW’s new Goosebumps comic book series. Mitra’s new school year is starting off to be very eventful. Her best friend Kyra and she are locker buddies. But when a new student, Flip, arrives, the two friends become three and jealousy may be brewing. Not only is Mitra afraid of losing her friend, but some not-so-nice boys have taken over the computer lab and broke her phone. Without her phone, Mitra is out of touch and out of link with her friends until she is gifted a new mysterious phone! Who or where the phone came from is a mystery, but as the old saying goes, nothing comes without a price! Soon, strange things start to happen, and it is just the beginning in Goosebumps: Download and Die #1.
Jen Vaughn tries her hand at writing a Goosebumps story in her three-issue arc, Goosebumps: Download and Die. Vaughn dives right in on this first issue and does some heavy work introducing us to the characters and settings. She does a good job of setting up everything and letting us get to know our main characters. Mitra is instantly likable and Vaughn makes her troubles instantly relatable. I like the setup and what Vaughn is going for, but this seems to have the same pacing troubles as the previous arc, Monsters at Midnight. The first issue sets everything up and we don’t really get anything going until the last page. Inherently that is not a bad thing. But with only three issues and a month in between, it really struggles to hold the reader’s interest.
Michelle Wong takes over art duties for Goosebumps: Download and Die #1. Her animated style fits well with the series and taps in perfectly to the story being told. I love all the little background details she puts in. From posters on the classroom wall, staplers and pencils on a teacher’s desk or pictures up in one of the character’s rooms, those little details make this world feel “alive.” Wong also has great cartooning in characters’ faces. Fantastic expressions help tell the story in Goosebumps: Download and Die #1. The main art complaint would be that the images do feel a little static: there is no real sense of movement or motion on the pages.
Triona Ferrell does some wonderful coloring work on this issue. The pink hue she uses for the phone is fantastic and she gives it a nice eerie glow.
Goosebumps: Download and Die #1 is another fun issue and looks like it will be another delightful story. It does have the same pitfalls as the last three-issue arc. It starts off slow and it is a little hard to keep my interest (I ended up really liking the other two issues in the previous arc, though). I still feel like IDW would be better off taking a cue from Andrew Maclean’s Head Lopper series and maybe releasing these as a nice three-issue collection every three or four months instead of one issue every month. The story follows the Goosebumps concept well, but I am not sure that transfers well into comic book form, broken up into three different parts instead of one whole story.
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