REVIEW: 'The Wrong Earth: Confidence Men' #1 by Mark Waid and Leonard Kirk



(W) Mark Waid

(A) Leonard Kirk, Paul Little

(L) Rob Steen

COVER A: Jamal Igle

COVER B: Richard Williams

COVER C: Gene Ha

June 22, 2022


The Wrong Earth continues its season of one-shots with a compelling tale by the superstar team of Mark Waid (Kingdom Come) and Leonard Kirk (Second Coming). After a few near-catastrophic mistakes by the Stingers of Earth Alpha and Earth Omega, the heroes of both Earths decide to teach their sidekicks some hard lessons. Can these junior partners live up to the expectations of Dragonfly and Dragonflyman, or will they ultimately be pushed too far?


★★★★1/2 (4.5/5)

'The Wrong Earth' from Ahoy Comics has been a crown jewel for the publisher offering an entertaining juxtaposition of two diametrically opposed versions of the same superhero universe. The sometimes awkward and turbulent collaboration of an Adam West/Batman '66 type of hero from Earth Alpha called Dragonflyman and the gritty, violent vigilante of Earth Omega's Dragonfly has exposed the classic tropes that both archetypes offer. Creators Tom Peyer and Jamal Igle have established a flagship franchise that is a wealth of great storytelling. The fact they've opened up the premise to one-shots from top talent in the industry is a testament to that. 

This month's entry is from Mark Waid and Leonard Kirk. 'The Wrong Earth: Confidence Men' involves two parallel stories each from one universe. The loyal young sidekick Stinger is having a rough time lately, contributing some major errors in their crime-fighting efforts. Dragonfly and Dragonflyman decide to teach their wards a lesson and they go about it in two very different ways. They both use deception to make their points but the methods could not be more different. As expected, Dragonflyman is more encouraging while Dragonfly is more condemning in their approaches to Stinger. What is different about this one-shot is the level of cruelty in Dragonfly, a level we haven't seen to this point. Waid invokes his inner-Frank Miller to bring out the darkest version of the violent vigilante. 

Kirk along with colorist Paul Little put together a richly colored, hyper-emotional issue that depends so much on conveying anger and disappointment. Kirk's designs fit perfectly in the already established universe of The Wrong Earth while adding another layer of pathos for the beleaguered Stinger. The fight scenes are well choreographed and appropriately graphic. The visual tone changes somewhat between the two universes but it's clear this is a serious test of Stinger's will and determination. As colorful and campy as Earth Alpha can be, under Waid, there's no free pass even for the loyal sidekick. 

'The Wrong Earth: Confidence Men' is another great one-shot that puts Stinger to the test. Waid and Kirk take the series to another level that's all business and brutal. These one-shots open up the world of 'The Wrong Earth' with some compelling storylines that broaden the brand in new fresh ways. You'll have a deeper appreciation for this amazing series after reading this issue. It's a seminal issue for the franchise.