Saturday, June 30, 2018

Dodge City #4 Review

Writer: Josh Trujillo
Artist: Cara McGeePublisher: Boom! StudiosRelease Date: June 27, 2018Cover Price: $3.99Review by: Simon West

Dodge City is an attempt at bringing the sensibilities of sports manga to a western audience personal drama, themed teams, and an unreal obsession with a niche hobby that this time lands in the court of dodgeball. 

Our protagonist's team, The Jazz Pandas have reached the semi-finals of the dodgeball tournament but injury, distrust and sexual tensions are threatening the chances of this band of plucky outcasts from progressing any further. 

There’s a lot to like here, the characters feel relatable and the interpersonal drama is engaging, I found myself drawn into this world and genuinely caring for the outcome of the smaller side plots that seemed to be dividing the team.

The book, however, isn’t without its problem, the art, while bright and engaging for the downtime between dodgeball matches, fails to provide enough narrative clarity during the games themselves. The action scenes consist of a confusing mass of endless single body shots with no wide angle views of the court that would help the viewer know the game situation. In fact, were it not for someone occasionally, awkwardly announcing that they were winning the match you would have no idea what was happening.

This appears to be the final issue of Dodge City and that's a shame, the book ends with secretly setting up a rival team for the Jazz Panda’s and sowing the seeds for the steady descent into absurdity that makes the sports manga genre so engaging. There’s a lot of potential in the world Josh Trujillo has created, I came into this book with this issue and will make a point to pick up the trade collection in October to find out what I missed leading up to this point but I hope we get to see more of it someday.

Bit and Pieces:

A solid closing chapter to this run of Dodge City, While the dodgeball itself may be lacking, Josh Trujillo has created a world of endearing characters whose personal drama is deeply engaging. 


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