Sunday, 4 October 2009

Sex and the Superhero #1 review

More accurately, that would be Sex and the Gay Superhero, as all the metahumans in here are pretty darned queer, from the terribly camp Cosmic Man to the so-macho-he's-even-camper Pink Storm. There's also Captain Avenger, the hero you could take home to your mother, sole female Lady Web and the hilariously named Street Diver. Individually they're awesome fighters for justice. together they're . . . a right bunch of gossipy old tarts.

Seriously, whenever this lot get together they follow the Golden Age JSA-er model of swapping tales of their latest exploits, but said adventures tend to be sexual. Some involve the sort of non-Comics Code-approved situations we've likely all speculated on - what's it like to be with a Plastic Man type?; do combatants ever get turned on as they swap buff blows in tiny costumes? Others are more surprising, including the main story of the issue, which sees a couple of members turn peeping Tom Strongs.

It's helium-light stuff from So Super Duper writer Brian Andersen, but not without charm. While Pink Storm comes across as an immature prat due to his boastfulness and sweary gob, everyone else is worth spending a few minutes with - even super-sissy Cosmic Man who, had he the elastic powers, could call himself Nellyongated Man.

My only real complaint is that while we get brief descriptions of the power archetypes before the strip begins, we never really see much of anyone using their abilities. So, for example, I've no idea if Pink Storm's super-pink skin has anything to do with his strength. or what Cosmic Man's 'space age cosmic powers' are. Such details may not be necessary for the story to work, but the knowledge would certainly enrich the reading experience.

The art is handled by Neftali Centeno and is as bright and airy as the script demands. It's obviously the work of someone starting out in comics - some of the faces are a bit off, and not all the poses work - but it tells the story nicely, being strongest in the broadest comedy moments. One thing I don't understand is why words such as 'cock' are asterisked out in a comic which features much on-panel shagging (there's a PG-rating on the cover, which seems a smidgen low).

Completing the creative team is colourist Celina Hernandez, whose nice line in graduated tints makes up for Centeno's often skimpy backgrounds.

Entertaining and undemanding, Sex and the Superhero is an interesting experiment, even if its heroes don't have the depth to play with the big boys. Who knows, though, what future issues will bring.

http://www.sosuperduper.com/

2 comments:

  1. After waiting 4 weeks for Indyplanet to ship my copy. I was still VERY satisfied. And that's coming from a straight guy. I found the comic to be like a clever sitcom pilot. Even though there is a lot about the heroes to still be defined. I figure this is a case of "keep them wanting more"

    In issue one we get a beginning middle and ending in an industry that likes to charge us $5 an issue for a 12 issue story arc.

    I agree on Celina's color work. Even though I like the "less is more" style of art. Celina gives me enough variance in tone to properly round out the art and set the proper mood. I hate mainstreams comic's current need to make everything look gloomy and a badly lit CSI episode. Color is a good thing.

    I look forward to more issues that will give us more about who these heroes are.

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  2. "An industry that likes to charge $5 an issue"? Holy moley, Yateseroni, are you from the future?!!

    DC and Marvel's standard seems to be $2.99 or $3.99 here in the present, depending on page count.

    And where are these "12 issue story arcs" you speak of? Isn't that a generalisation confusing "story arc" with "story"? Isn't a story arc more concerned with character progression and development of situations, often told through a seemingly episodic series of separate though interlinked stories? Isn't that the very charm that comic books have that most other fiction doesn't - that situations develop over a course of interlinked stories, thus creating a richer universe?

    With that in mind, Sex and the Superhero #1 may in fact be part of a story arc.

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