By Spencer Irwin
This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!
Whether they romanticize it or want to forget about it altogether, most people have pretty strong feelings about the time they spent in high school — or, at least, that’s how most popular media likes to portray things. In truth, I’m guessing far more people think about high school the way Nick Wilson does: with hazy indifference. In The Further Adventures of Nick Wilson 3, Eddie Gorodetsky, Marc Andreyko, and Stephen Sadowski send Nick to his high school reunion, which is probably the lamest — and, thus, the most realistic — high school reunion in the history of pop culture.
Nick only attends the reunion in the first place because it’s a work outing (he’s getting time-and-a-half!); high school seems to be an experience he barely remembers in the first place. This isn’t true for most of the other attendees of the reunion, although when a schoolmate goes on to become a superhero, that tends to be the kind of thing you don’t forget.
I’m always impressed by pages like these, where artists have to come up with a dozen one-off character designs; Sadowski does a fantastic job of coming up with disparate, expressive personalities and looks here. Likewise, I appreciate the diversity of experiences Andreyko conveys here, from those who are clearly just trying to cash in on a celebrity classmate to those who had stand-out experiences with Nick (rarely good) to those who perhaps took the whole experience a bit too seriously (I always thought the people who run alumni associations or arrange high school reunions might have a little too much time on their hands). Nick, on the other hand, only seems to have two really strong memories of high school: the football player who bullied him, and his first love.
Why do we go to high school reunions anyway? I don’t think most of us actually want to hang out with the people we knew in high school — we just want the gossip, to see what everyone’s been up to and compare our lives (which is why I feel like Facebook and social media have largely replaced reunions). That’s certainly the case with Nick, and his experience at his reunion, dire as it was, seems to have left him in a good place.
This is such a sweet, affectionate moment. Nick’s statement is technically a lie — they definitely weren’t the best aged people at the reunion — but at the same time he’s telling the truth, as far as he’s concerned. What Nick got out of high school, more than anything, was a friend for life in the form of Jane Jenkins. Everybody else is trivia, people who, at worst, he’ll drink away the memory of and, at best, have helped show him what’s important in his life. One meaningful, lasting friendship from high school is more than most people can expect, and it’s nice to see Nick and Jane realize how lucky they are in that sense, no matter how dissatisfied they are otherwise with their lives. This is really the best possible outcome of a high school reunion.
The conversation doesn’t stop there. What do you wanna talk about from this issue?