SIDEKICK #2

As I said after reviewing the first issue, it was good enough to make me want to read the 2nd issue, which came out today. It opens where the last issue left off, with Flyboy sitting alone at night, on top of a building, drowning his sorrows in booze. Then he sees a spotlight in the sky, with Red Cowl’s face on it, an obvious homage to Batman’s Bat-signal. Flyboys flies off to see who lit the signal, and meets up Joan Darling on top of another building. Through flashbacks we learn that Joan is a local reporter who was officially assigned by her newspaper to cover Red Cowl and Flyboy’s adventures. Overtime, Red Cowl revealed all of his secrets to her, including his and Flyboy’s real identities, and they became lovers. Joan tells Flyboy that she’s also broken up about Red Cowl’s death, and refuses to believe it. She tells him that she has slight empathic abilities, she can tell when someone is lying to her, and just feels that Red Cowl is still alive (which those of us who read issue #1 know to be true). After brining up some far-out possibilities such as parallel realities and alternate timelines, Flyboy goes off to see a scientist named Professor Tannenbaum, who had helped Red Cowl and Flyboy defeat a supervillain in the past. Flyboy visits Tennenbaum in his secret HQ, and through more flashbacks we get the origin story of how Red Cowl first met young Barry, and recruited him to be his sidekick. Red Cowl rescued Barry from a supervillain, called The Surgeon, who killed both of Barry’s parents. When The Surgeon tried to escape via a jetpack, Barry flew after him (we still don’t get any info on how Barry can fly, it seems to just be a secret power he always had) and stabbed him to death. Red Cowl covered up the crime, and trained Barry how to fight crime with his power, and created the costume and name of Flyboy for him. There’s another flashback to the day Red Cowl was supposedly murdered, but Tannenbaum’s machines don’t find any proof that Red Cowl is still alive. Tannenbaum then taunts Flyboy with the rumor he and Red Cowl were homosexual lovers, something he says everyone believes. Flyboy gets mad, and flies back to meet with Joan again, and tell her he didn’t find out anything about Red Cowl, and then he clumsily tries to kiss her, and she slaps him.

Back in his little apartment, Flyboy is drinking again, when that mysterious woman who appeared at the end of the previous issue, materializes right in front of him. and then seduces him, and as they have sex she says something about “feeding” on his power, and then when it’s over he won’t remember anything about her, until she returns to “feed” again. When Flyboy wakes up, changes back into his costume, packs a bag, and then flies out the window, as if he’s planning to start over somewhere else, where he can establish a new identity and start over. TO BE CONTINUED

So this issue had no follow up on Melody, Red Cowl’s ex-personal assistant, and no follow up on Thomas/Red Cowl, who saw last issue is still alive, with a new identity somewhere else. We do get some more background info, with the introduction of Joan Darling, and seeing how Red Cowl and Flyboy first met and teamed up, but there’s still a lot of unanswered questions. Because it’s J. Michael Stracynski, I’m willing to give this series one more issue to keep me hooked. But it really needs to make it worthwhile. So far, this series is just average, but nothing special. GRADE:

Available on COMIXOLOGY

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