Weekly World News #1


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Weekly World News #1


  • Words: Chris Ryall
  • Art: Alan Robinson
  • Colors: Tom Smith
  • Story Title: The Irredemption of Ed Anger, Part 1
  • Publisher: IDW Publishing
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Jan 13, 2010

Weekly World News #1 is a self-referential exercise in pop culture humor. Sometimes it works, but sometimes, it doesn’t.  Written by Chris Ryall, who’s day job is that of IDW’s Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, this book shows us a world through the eyes of columnist Ed Anger. Ed has a chip on his shoulder, an answer for everything and a fascination with giving teachers stun guns.

Mind you, this is a world where this title’s namesake is the most reliable and honest publication in the world. This is a reality where Bat Boy is a hero invited to the Obama inauguration, and the aliens found in Area 51 are regular pundits on news programs. Ed wagers his column away on national television in 1992 with a psychic alien over who would win the presidential election. Ed was absolutely certain that George H.W. Bush was about to take his second “victory lap,” while the proven psychic and Roswell survivor told him otherwise.

These are the types of plot machinations throughout this first issue. In a tongue and cheek manner, Ryall and company insert Mr. Anger into world events not unlike Forrest Gump. Unlike that story, though, the PhD Ape and the Manigator populate this America.

We follow Mr. Anger as he lectures anyone standing still long enough about how he can fix everything. Much like J. Jonah Jammeson, he has a standing hate for the infamous Bat Boy, who always seems to be in the right place at the right time, saving the day. There are plenty of visual and written references to the editor and wall crawler’s feud. My favorite being a headline reading, “Bat Boy Uses Great Power in Greatly Responsible Manner!” The words are framed by his highly recognizable, screaming visage. 

The art by Alan Robinson is well suited for the issue’s tone, focusing on outlandish visuals and over the top expressions. The overall style is realism, but with a twist of the funny pages, seen in exaggerated features and sight gags.

The main problem with the issue is in our given antagonist. Ed Anger is an unlikeable character. Yes, by design, but it’s hard to stay with a character’s journey when they are this crass and ignorant. Even J. Jonah was provided subtle choices to his character for the reader to hang on.

For example, good people were and are still loyal to Jonah in the pages of Amazing. This tells us that even if we don’t see it on the page, there is a decent human being in there and we read on. In the case of Ed Anger, he’s just a curmudgeon who hates everyone. We’re given no reason to follow him. His purposely over the top antics, although written in jest, just miss the mark of engaging me for further issues.

The proceedings are followed up with annotations from the writer, explanations of visual gags and some articles from an issue of Weekly World News. Not being as familiar with the magazine, I am not sure if these are reprints or created specifically for the comic. Regardless, they pertain to characters or events in the issue, which makes them an invited extra.

The concept, packaging, art and execution of Weekly World News #1 is above average and worthy of a flip through for fans of the inspiration. Unfortunately, the sum does not equal it’s parts, for the humor is sometimes clunky, obvious and we aren’t given a suitable window into this new world. Here’s hoping issue number two can rectify these problems, because there’s a funny book in this ripe premise.

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