Nostalgia Should Stay Buried… Sometimes
I thought I had fond memories of The Goonies. I always saw myself and my brothers running off on some wild adventure, finding treasure living like kings. All that stayed behind in my childhood though, I let my Goonies-inspired treasure hunt go. In the last few years there’s been a shift of focus toward those long forgotten would be adventures. One of the biggest successes of 2016, Stranger Things, draws heavily on the childhood adventure genre albeit structured to fit their now grown up audience. It’s success was not only due to its appeal to the now grown-up Goonies audience, it also had an amazing story to carry it. Misfit City tries to draw on the same feelings but doesn’t quite strike the right emotions.
The series, from Boom Studios, makes no secret it’s taking inspiration from The Goonies. Our adventure takes place in dwindling beach town, Cannon Cove, once the location for a successful kids movie, The Gloomies.
It’s population makes a living from avid fans drawn to the site of their favourite childhood movie. Our heroines are employed in various establishments in the town, coffee shop, oyster farm and museum dedicated to the classic film. While dependent on revenue derived from the tourists, the population are all but done with the movie.
One Man’s Treasure…
Macy, the museum worker, finds herself in possession of a treasure chest, bequeath to the museum after it’s owner, Captain Denby passed away. The mysterious chest is just another pile of junk to Macy and it barely conjures a spark of interest. Queue a cutaway to some disgruntled relatives of Denby. Back to Macy and her friends have gathered for a card game only for the subject of the chest to be dragged up. The chest is opened but the adventure goes nowhere as the girls only find musty papers.
Returning home to practice her upcoming gig Macy is called back to the museum after an alarm is triggered. The adventure is suddenly on as the girls decide that now they are interested.
The comic really felt like it went nowhere for me. Macy and her friends are certainly interesting, Cannon Cove seems like a prospective place to situate a story but unfortunately the first issue sank the adventure before it set sail. Smith and Lustgarten conjure a dreary little town trapped under a wet blank (it’s literally blanketed by fog and mist most of the year) and ennui. It’s inhabitants or rather our adventuring party are mishmash of intriguing young women making their way through the humdrum malaise of life in Cannon Cove. Their friendship their only escape from the dreariness of the tourist trap town. So where could this all go wrong?
Another Man’s Poor Comic!
Well it all feels too forced or too rushed for the first issue. There is plenty of world building but the story and tone kind of get lost and never really find their way back.
Issue 1 feels like they tried to cram the first 30 minutes of The Goonies into the pages. The girls are fed up of their town, fed up of The Gloomies but are all too quick to drop their apathy and put on their adventure caps. It just doesn’t feel right and ends up being a little too at odds with itself for me.
This feels like it could have been Lumberjanes living in The Goonies town and that sounds good but it doesn’t quite live up to that idea.
It’s a shame too! I like the people Smith and Lustgarten have written. While the first issue only offers a taste of who they are, it’s enough to keep you reading.
The comic can’t be faulted on its characters or art! In fact Franquiz’s work that probably held my attention the whole time.
Misfit City doesn’t hold back on introducing a roster of characters. Franquiz finds the time to give each their own distinct look and fashion style. It helps to cement the girls and their personalities. Her panels, particularly those featuring Canon Cove, capture the image of a town lost in a haze.
It’s sure to be a hit with fans of mystery adventures on the hammier side. I’m afraid though that I won’t be returning to Misfit City and my adventure ends here.
Editor-in-Chief, part-time super villain and hoarder of cats. If you can’t find me writing, I’m probably in the kitchen!