I have loved comic books and superheroes since I was little nerdy girl. As a child of the 90s, Spider-Man, X-Men, and Batman where some of my favorites. As I got older, my comic book world expanded and superheroes became a part of my life.( I’ve got the gigantic Green Lantern tattoo to prove it.) However, between the rebirths, resets, and multiverses, there is something about today’s mainstream comics that feel like they are missing something. Missing that voice that connected with the generation they were created for, not so long ago. To be frank; comics are either made for today’s cellphone absorbed youth or those who were around during their conception. They just don’t make comics for my generation:Millennials, or as my mom would say, “the Hipster generation.”
Besides that; it seems like we are inundated with comic book movies, TV, merchandise, etc. Geek culture is now mainstream and that makes it profitable. So every studio head/corporation is going to shove a caped crusader at you in the hopes to get you to spend your hard earned money. You mix that all up and you get Superhero Fatigue. What once seemed special is now common. Well have I got the cure for you! Actually Unlikely Heroes Studios has the cure with their original comic book series; The Super! The Super! is a fun, hilarious, edgy, comic book series that comes at time when we need a new hero. A hero to save us from the consumerism of comic book movies and give us something to remind us how we all fell in love with comics in the first place. Unlikely Heroes Studios gave me the opportunity to read issues 1-5 and I’m going to share my thought with all of you.
The Super! takes place in the modern city of Cosmopolis but unlike our modern city, Cosmopolis is a city filled with superheroes. (Imagine the world of The Incredibles before they all got sued or just the entire city of New York.) There are different superhero groups like The People’s Champions and The Guild of Guardians. Those elements seems very familiar but we don’t follow the story of the People’s Champions. We follow a group of superheroes who at one point in issue one have a meeting about what their team name should be. (Max-ium Overdrive was my favorite suggestion.) These unlikely heroes are Blitz, Blood Death, The Furious Fire-Ant, and Silhouette to name a few. They are lead by Max Archer, who reminds me so much of Varrick from Legend of Korra; brilliant but very wacky. By far my favorite character is man that turns into the Unquenchable Lush when he drinks Tequila. He goes from shy and quiet to strong and unstoppable; and we all know someone like that!
These heroes each have their own distinct personalities that are just as colorful and intriguing as their design. Blitz is a female heroine with a feisty personality,has super strength, can fly and has lightning powers but even she gets star struck by the handsome leader of The People’s Champion; Superstar. The Furious Fire-Ant is a bit of a drunk but he uses his wit and flamethrower to take on foes. Blood Death is that buff dude at the gym who goes on and on about justice and protein shakes. Did I mention there is a hero who is super fast but seemingly only when he is naked? It’s quirks like those that keep you engaged from panel to panel.
What really makes The Super! super is the smartly comedic writing. Each characters’ dialogue is written uniquely for them but in a way that creates chemistry you can feel through the pages. You feel their friendship, their attraction, emotions and even how annoyed they are by monologuing villains. The Super! does not neglect an entire generation of comic book readers. Instead it includes references and slang that all generations can get. The jokes are well placed and their isn’t a single F-bomb dropped for the sake of being more “adult.” Yet make no mistake this comic is not for the little ones. There is nudity, sexual innuendo and violence but all tastefully done. (If you get what I mean.)
The comic also explores the ideas of “what is it like to be special in a world where almost every other person is special too? Do superheroes need saving too? Is there a such thing as too many superheroes? Also how do humans fair in all of this? It’s the brilliant choices by the writers that will make you crave the next issue. Oh and the comic is beautiful to look at. The colors are vibrant but not in a kids cartoony way. The heroes look strong without looking overly bulky. Cosmopolis looks fantastical but realistic as the same time.
Overall, The Super! may not be your parents comic books but it is a comic book that you and your parents can both appreciate. Unlikely Heroes Studio combines great writing, character designs, and color to create heroes that cater to everyone. While still giving us something super in a world filled with superheroes.