Classic Toy Bounces Back: Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters

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Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters #1

Years ago, like most of my peers, I had my hands on the greatest toy the world had ever seen: Stretch Armstrong, the hero you could flex, twist, and stretch and who would always return to his original form. Unless it was cold, in which case he might take a little longer. Eventually, I got to see the stuff inside Stretch Armstrong, shortly after which he wasn't as much fun to play with.

Now Stretch is making a comeback -- and he gets clothes in the process! IDW has licensed STRETCH ARMSTRONG AND THE FLEX FIGHTERS for comics. If you haven't heard of the team, that's okay. They're brand new, as is Stretch, all of whom will be appearing their own animated cartoon series starring SCOTT MENVILLE (TEEN TITANS GO's Robin) as the teenaged Stretch and STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION alum WIL WHEATON as their corporate sponsor, Jonathan Rook.

Kevin Burke and Chris Wyatt guide this issue, which finds the Flex Fighters as an already-formed team going up against a giant preying mantis in the middle of the city. The "mantoid" and the Flex Fighters have somethign in common: all of them were exposed to the "only in the comic books" element of Flexarium, which caused a strange and unusual thing to happen. While the authories want the giant mantis destroyed, the Flex Fighters -- Stretch, Wingspan, and Omni-Mass -- have been instructed to take it alive for study; assuming they can live through the battle themselves. Nikos Koutsis turns in a very clean style of artwork that matches the look and feel of the animation cels of the show.

This debut adventure does a nice job of giving a little of Stretch's personal backstory, if not an origin. He's an over-scheduled high school student with an overbearing father who doesn't know about his super-powered identity. The battle is also concluded by dropping a little science trivia on the readers, utilizing all three of the team members' powers in concert to bring the beast down. And like any good comic book, it ends on a cliffhanger of new information designed to bring the readers back next issue.

Grade: 
4.0 / 5.0