Lollipop Kids #3
From MAJK’s Coffee Corner:
Lollipop Kids #3 came out several months after the previous issue and it nearly fell off my radar. Because Lollipop Kids #2 came out in November of last year, I had to re-read it to dive back into the series. Man, am I glad I did! Lollipop Kids #3 finally gets to the meat of this incredible story. For those of you who haven’t been reading this urban fantasy comic series by AfterShock, let me catch you up a bit. This is a story about Nick Motley, a bi-racial, dyslexic New York teen who went looking for his sister one evening in Central Park. As often happens in fantasy, Nick wound up discovering things he wishes he could forget. Between the art and the story, this series deserves more than a five-issue run.
Publisher: Aftershock Comics Written by Adam Glass Art by Diego Yapur
Cover by: Robert Hack Colored by DC Alonso Lettered by Sal Cipriano
Spoiler Warning: If you have not read Lollipop Kids #2 or #3 there may be spoilers below!
What’s Happened Already?
Nick is your standard fourteen-year-old in many ways, but there are more than a few things that make him special. Some he shares with us from the start, such as his mixed heritage and his dyslexia. Some we discover with him—the presence of monsters in Central Park and his membership to a group of young monster hunters known as the Lollipop Kids. After saving Nick’s life, Fresno repeated her initial invitation for Nick to join them. She explained that Nick was special not just because he was a legacy (as all Lollipop Kids are) but because both of his parents were once Lollipop Kids. Nick is a double legacy. Unfortunately, Lollipop Kids forget everything related to the monsters and their sacred duty on their eighteenth birthday, leaving no way for parents to tell their children. Lollipop Kids #2left both us and Nick with a lot of questions. Questions that Nick was ready to write off as he left the park, but he never made it out of the park.
What’s Lollipop Kids #3 About?
Lollipop Kids #3 picks up mid-action with Fresno saving Nick’s life once more and Expo, the gremlin, offering colorful commentary. Fresno takes Nick back to the Lollipop Kids base of operations where he learns that many historical figures were also Lollipop Kids. Somehow, I wasn’t surprised that Tupac and Harry Houdini were once Lollipop Kids. Fresno’s purpose is to have Nick see his tribe’s Arca. Here Nick learns a lot about his family lines and comes face to face with two people he never expected to see in this place.
Is It Good?
Lollipop Kids #3 is definitely meaty in terms of story than the previous two issues. We get a lot of juicy details and some very emotional moments. We get a better sense of who Nick is as a person. So does he. Whether it’s enough to change his mind remains to be seen.
The father and son team of Adam and Aidan Glass have built an intricate tale with solid lore and great backstory. The reveals are well-timed, allowing the Yapur’s art and Alonso’s colors to do the honors. Yapur’s work renders the story in a way that gives us some very memorable moments. The full-page execution of the Lollipop Kids War Room is stunning in its detail work. Alonso’s palette of reds against the pale blue tones drives the tech feel of the room.
There’s the socially awkward moment between Nick and the ambiguously gendered Cosmo as the two approach the Arca of Nick’s tribe. Between Alonso’s use of muted earth tones and the preciseness to Cosmo’s mouth and eyes, this is just one of many moments when the characters’ expressions say far more than their dialogue. The full-page presentation of the Arca of Zion offers a palpable majesty. There are several other panels in which Alonso’s colors blend with Yapur’s art to a stellar effect, but I’m loathe to spoil those discoveries.
What Could Be Better?
While it may seem that I’m gushing heavily over Lollipop Kids #3, there were a few (very few) moments that were jarring. Big Red’s yelling at Fresno over Nick seeing his Arca was a bit odd unless that character frequently yells in what should be a regular conversation. Also her reference to Nick as “Troll-doll looking” struck me as odd considering with her hair length and color she’d have fit right into the recent Trolls movie.
Lollipop Kids #3 Cover
Hack’s cover art is an interesting choice. It keeps on theme with the previous two covers, in that children are seeing the terrors that the adults are not. This was a particularly clever cover. The little boy, at first glance, seems just to be looking curiously into the water at the beastie just below the surface. Closer inspection reveals that the boy is actually screaming in utter horror.
Lollipop Kids #3 Rating: 8/10
The art and color work on this series would have been enough to make it worthy of picking up. When you add to that the originality of the story, intricate lore, and the fact that Cipriano’s lettering does a wonderful job, especially of communicating Expo’s voice, there’s no doubt this is pull list material.
MAJK’s Age Recommendation:
The age listing from the Aftershock is fifteen on this series; I’d say unless your child is prone to nightmares or particularly sensitive that it’s probably safe for age twelve and up. I do, however, recommend that you review it before just letting handing it to anyone under fifteen. Frankly, it’s also a fun read for any adult who enjoys fantasy comics or light horror.
Next Issue: Lollipop Kids #4 was released March 27, 2019, and is currently available.