Sunday, November 14, 2010

Book-A-Day 2010 # 284 (11/14) -- Superf*ckers by James Kochalka

This book has absolutely no redeeming qualities except for its own glee at being precisely what it is. Handily enough, that's plenty. Superf*ckers is the comic that Mark Millar has been trying to write for his entire career, but has never been innocent enough to do right. It's simultaneously decadent and fresh, sweet and sour, a straight superhero comic and a brutal parody of one.

The Superf*ckers are a teen superhero team along the lines of the Legion -- large, ready to have try-outs all the time, squabbling, far-flung. But, in the usual James Kochalka deflating-expectations manner, their secret headquarters is "in the field behind his house" in Burlington, Vermont. And they act like normal obnoxious teens -- or maybe realty-show contestants -- than like most four-color superheroes: fighting with each other, playing pranks, doing drugs, casually tormenting the newbies, screwing and trying to screw each other, accusing each other of being gay, and making lots of dick jokes. They don't battle villains (super or otherwise), have any relationship (good or bad) with law enforcement, cackle about their piles of money, lord over lesser humanity, care about their public image, or do any of that currently trendy long-underwear stuff -- they're just a bunch of half-socialized kids with a clubhouse and superpowers.

This book collects four issues -- numbered non-consecutively, not quite every other issues from the "real" run of the 270s -- that were originally published separately over the past half-decade, along with a Jack Krak solo first issue and some short strips at the end. It all works because this isn't yet another revisionist superhero story -- it's just about a bunch of punk kids making trouble. Sure, these kids have distinctive costumes and powers, but that just defines them: they could as easily be skateboarders or graffiti taggers or petty thieves. Superheroism is their way of rebelling and making trouble -- and that's more interesting and new than a thousand "realistic" urban vigilantes. For anyone who really likes superheroes -- or cares that much about them to really hate them -- Superf*ckers will be annoying and obnoxious in all of the wrong ways. But, if you just want fun comics about a bunch of kids with impulse-control issues, horribly foul mouths, and bad luck, it'll go down just fine.

Book-A-Day 2010: The Epic Index

No comments:

Post a Comment