Speed Racer #1–3 (of 3)
[Wildstorm Studios $2.50 US $3.95 CAN]
Written & Illustrated by Tommy Yune
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Speed Racer #2For those of you familiar with Speed Racer this mini-series makes a nice addition to the mythos. If you’re not familiar with Speed Racer it’s the perfect jumping on point. Tommy Yune gives us the origin of Speed Racer, the Mach 5 and Racer X and sets up a nicely realized anime inspired world for Speed to inhabit.

Issue one introduces us to the Racer clan. Speed is a young kid who along with his cousin, Sparky is watching his brother, Rex race against Hank, another Racer cousin. Rex is no longer on the Racer team instead he represents the island nation of Kapetapek. Hank Racer is at the wheel of the Racer team car, the Mach 3. Little does the rest of the Racer clan know but this race has been set up to give Rex Racer a new identity—that of Racer X.

Issue two is set seven years after the events in issue one and in it we meet a much older Speed and also one Patricia Shimura (aka Trixie) who shows up to photograph the day’s test of the Mach 4’s new engine. This issue also introduces us to the mysterious Racer X and reinforces the fact that the world of racing is filled with danger and intrigue.

Issue three sets the stage for Speed to fulfill his destiny as the world’s greatest race car driver and brings the Mach 5 into the story.

Yune’s artwork is a highly detailed manga style colored beautifully to give you the impression you’re watching an action-packed Japanese animation movie. The details on the cars and machinery were fantastic. He also handles rendering the human characters as deftly as he does the mechanical.

Tommy Yune has done a wonderful job with this origin story. My one complaint would be that I wish it had been longer. Sometimes certain scenes came across as a little rushed. Maybe a longer mini-series would have alleviated some of that.

Can’t find this mini-series locally? Write Wildstorm Productions, 7910 Ivanhoe, Suite 438, La Jolla CA, 92037 or visit their web site at www.dccomics.com/wildstorm/index.html. You can also try the DC comics web site at www.dccomics.com.