Read Speed Racer: Chronicles of the Racer by Arie Kaplan Free Online
Book Title: Speed Racer: Chronicles of the Racer|
The author of the book: Arie Kaplan
Edition: IDW Publishing
Date of issue: April 29th 2008
ISBN 13: 9781600102134
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 4.54 MB
City - Country: No data
Loaded: 2525 times
Reader ratings: 7.3
Read full description of the books:
I can't decide if this is utterly brilliant or absolutely abominable, so I've rated it somewhere in the middle -- but depending on the state of your Speed Racer fandom, your mileage may vary. Summary and review follow.
The premise is similar to what DC did with the Batman franchise a couple decades ago: According to this book, Speed Racer is the latest in a long line of racing champions stretching over the past 25,000 years (yes, that's the number Pops Racer gives. I'm not sure why the Racer family has a scrapbook of family events stretching back 19,000 years before written language began, but they do). All of it dates back to a single Roman charioteer (maybe Pops meant 2,500?) and a powerful magic medallion. Events repeat themselves every generation, with the chosen Racer facing his estranged brother and a mysterious enemy as they battle for possession of this amulet. Meanwhile, in present day, Speed and Racer X team up against that same enemy, who has issued a challenge to Speed.
Looking at the book from a technical standpoint, it's an almost painful mash-up of terrible things: The artwork is inconsistent, mixing beautifully-colored plates with panels of badly-rendered characters, horses with their legs on backwards, and chariots with disappearing tongue and harness. The story itself is preposterous in the extreme, and the period tales are full of historical and geographical head-shakers and cringe-worthy character names (Sparkington and Sheriff Detectingham are the medieval versions of Sparky and Inspector Detector, for example, and Speed's ancestors bear monikers like Swiftus Romulus and Sprint Rackham). The writing is full of pop-culture references and out-of-place movie quotes, including dialogue lifted verbatim from Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings.
On the other hand, all of the above is so COMPLETELY in the vein of the low-budget dub and bizarre scenarios of the original Speed Racer cartoon that, even when it makes me groan out loud, it's hard to discount the book on grounds of improbability or inaccuracy. It doesn't pretend, or even aspire to, sophistication; it captures instead the spirit of bad animation and slapdash dub scripts. In a way, it's so ridiculous that it's endearing -- and by the same token, there's a sort of perverted creativity in the way the artists render Speed and Racer X's familiar racing colors in increasingly ludicrous "historical" designs and up the ante on the challenges they face.
This comic lacks the heart and artistry of the Tommy Yune/Wildstorm miniseries, but in its extreme silliness, it packs far more punch than the NOW comics series from the 1980s. It updates (and perhaps back-dates?) the franchise while maintaining the tone of the original series, and for that I give it credit in spite of its many shortcomings.
In summary, perhaps the simplest and most honest review would be simply to write that the book made me laugh out loud, and I certainly got my money's worth out of it.
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