Black Hops vol. 3: Hopocalypse Now – Mark Pellegrini

3 out of 5

Still entertaining, and buoyantly arted by Timothy Lim, but our Black Hops storyline stalls upon a lack of things to do except essentially repeat last volume’s Rabbit / Otter / Turtle siege upon the bad guys.

Hopocalypse Now – credit to the title, surely – follows rather immediately upon said siege, tracking Apex Moth and “Hare Trigger” to another location, with our Black Hops unit tasked with rescuing Hare’s sister, who’d like to change sides to the good ol’ US forces. Pellegrini makes the smart decision to bring USA G.I.’s handler, Penelope, directly into the mix, giving her combat training and a headset that looks like bunny ears, because, y’know, anime influences and everything. The action is more satisfying in this volume, because we don’t need to take time to introduce Patriot-R and Rigor-Tortoise and can jump right in to their odd camaraderie, in which they “team up” hilariously, but Lim / Pellegrini still struggle with some timing issues, hiccupping events in to a final showdown, and sort of bungling a double reveal of another quantity in the battle. There’s also a rather clumsy shoehorning of Kamen America into things… but fine, crosspollinate your characters. In exchange, we get the promise of a doggy joining the team in the next volume.