The Three Stooges #4, or The Three Stooges: Curse of Frankenstooge #1 (same comic, two titles, don't ask) opens with the PSA advising kids not to imitate the Stooges on the inside front cover (it was the final panel in the previous issue). The first story, "Scaredy Stooge", written by S.A. Check with art by Bill Galvan. The plot has the boys as videographers who have taken a gig at what appears to be a haunted house. From there we get parodies and references to contemporary horror franchises like Child's Play and Scream, but the highlight of the story is the shocking last page cameo by.... spoiler alert.... Shemp! The art in this story is a bit more cartoonish, somewhat reminiscent of The Three Robonic Stooges. Anyone remember that cartoon? Next up is the title story, written by Christopher Hill with art by the Fraim Brothers. The boys never did do a parody of Universal's Frankenstein movies, but this story shows us what it could have been like. Moe is the mad scientist, Curly is his hunchback assistant, and Larry is the manservant of Moe's blonde betrothed (no kidding) who gets turned into the monster. This story has an epic look and feel to it. Next up are some coloring pages (I'd like to see more of Mark Wheatley's art in this series, as he really nailed the Boys' likenesses), and a Halloween themed reprint from issue 24 of the Stooges' Gold Key series, with Joe DeRita as the third Stooge. As usual the reprint has a decent script but crude art. The issue ends with a nice text piece on the Fraim Brothers. This issue earns a B+. One more note, also out this week is a free Comic Fest Halloween Hullabaloo issue. It has one new story, "Trick or Eat" written by James Kuhoric with art by Adrian Ropp. The Boys decide to dress up and go Trick or Treating to get free candy. It's a brief 4 page story, and the art is in a very modern animated style.
The Three Stooges #3, aka The Three Stooges: Red, White and Stooge #1, features two stories instead of three like the previous issues, but that is to its advantage. The title story is longer, and better for it. Written by S.A. Check, this time he gets a solid balance between classic Stooges and a modern interpretation, where his previous scripts tread too much on the lackluster Farrelly Brothers movie. Due to the longer length, there is more of a plot than previous issues. Senator Ted Snedly (a nod to Stooges creator Ted Healy?) is running for president but needs a running mate. He sees the Stooges at a parade saving a young girl. He latches onto the boys in hopes his poll numbers will go up, but due to the boys, er, best efforts, including this series' first major pie fight, the polls go in the opposite direction. Snedly drops out, and the Stooges fill in the political vacuum to emerge as a force not seen since Donald Trump. Brendon and Brian Fraim's art is excellent as usual. The second story, "Beach Boo-Boobs", is a reprint from issue 44 of the Stooges' Gold Key series, with Joe DeRita as the third Stooge. As with the reprints from the previous issues, it has a good story featuring the boys taking jobs as lifeguards, but crude artwork. The last panel is a PSA warning kids not to imitate the Stooges' slapstick. This issue earns an A.
This issue opens with Batman and Mrs Peel via Batplane, and Robin and Steed via Batcopter, in hot pursuit of Michaela Gough and Lord Ffogg via airship. Peel deduces Batman is really Bruce Wayne, and Michaela sends her flying Cybernaughts into a dogfight with our heroes in a spectacular action sequence. Robin reconfigures the tracking device to short circuit the Cybernaughts. Michaela contacts Mr Freeze to help set a trap. Bruce and Dick, incognito via false mustaches and a toothpick, arrive in London to meet Steed and Peel with Inspector Gordon (Commissioner Gordon's cousin) at the Tower of London. We are introduced to Michaela's unseen and mysterious father, as she and Freeze set a trap involving the White Star diamond. At the Tower of London, our heroes are ambushed by the Cybernaughts, posing as Beefeaters, with Michaela and Freeze electronically communicating with them through the Cybernaughts. Matthew Dow Smith once again turns in a stellar job on art, and Ian Edginton continues with a quality script, the highlight being the airborne dogfight, although the plot really isn't advanced in this issue. This issue earns a B.