Written by, Skottie Young
Art by, Aaron Conley
Colors by, Jean-Francis Beauliev
Letters by, Nate Piekos
So far in Bully Wars, it has been a rough start of the school year for Rufus, who was the big bully of his previous school but is now a victim. However, he finds allies in a group of former victims: Ernie, Edith, and Spencer who have schemed a way to get him entry into The Bully Wars. However, to win the crown he must defeat “Hock”, an oversized, multi-year flunky, who runs the school and who has been targeting Rufus since day one.
In this issue, Rufus arrives at the location of The Bully Wars competition and finds out that his backup plan, Spencer, has been busted and won’t be able to assist him. Meanwhile, Hock is screaming murderous threats, which proves terrifying for Rufus. The dialogue is simplistic, but with a purpose: it makes the point that the whole competition between the two bullies is pretty meaningless despite the level of emotional energy exuded by both Rufus and Hock. As a reader, I questioned: how will Rufus stand a chance in The Bully Wars? The one interesting twist in the story surrounds the involvement of Spencer being used as bait for the bullies and how he might still be able to confuse Hock.
The competitors file out of the bus and the referee explains the rules: Catch the rat. To the surprise of Rufus, Spencer is the rat. The last bit of intrigue is added when we see Ernie and Edith back at Spencer’s command center flicking on his device and watching the match from a distance through their television set. Could Ernie and Edith provide the mobile surveillance Rufus will need to capture the rat and win The Bully Wars? This issue was very straightforward and predictable which made it feel like a filler issue. The story does not advance, except to give us the location of the Bully Wars competition.
Overall = 7
If it were all about the art and nothing else, I’d rate this book much higher. Aaron Conley’s whimsical and cartoon-like art is magical, exuberant, and fun. The emotions are felt and seen, which greatly increases the enjoyability for the reader. The story is very straightforward and predictable, which takes away from the enjoyability of the book. I do recommend readers to pick up the book for the art. It’s so good.