What makes this superhero comic different than virtually all other superhero comics that I have ever read, is that this one is actually a romance comic that is disguised as a superhero comic.
That’s right, it really is a lighthearted take on the whole Superman & Lois Lane love story (and no, not simply a re-do of Lois & Clark). No, Zahler’s delightful series relates the engaging story of Mark Spencer and Abby Tennyson, the gal of his dreams. They are in love, and this is the story of their courtship, only Mark is secretly the Crusader, a superhero who has been protecting Deco City for the past 10 years.
In issues 8 & 9, we have Abby’s sister, Charlotte moves to Paris to study art (courtesy of millionaire Paul LaCrox — secretly Darkblade, and Crusader’s best friend) with Mark temporarily filling in at Abby’s bookstore until she can find full-time replacement for Abby. On the superhero front the Liberty League is kidnapped by a super-powerful alien who wants them to fight a group of super-baddies in a “winner-take-all” Secret Wars, kind of bout).
The interesting twist to this episode is that (unknown to the heroes) Psi-Clone bests Crusader, and takes his place among the heroes (and in Abby’s life) disguised as Crusader. As can be expected, this plays hob with not only the public’s perception of Crusader, but Mark and Abby’s romance as well. To be sure Crusader does come back to Earth (albeit after a few weeks of having to fly back on his own from the planet where he was left), still the sheer enjoyment of the tale is how Zahler goes about telling the story.
If you are looking for either straight romance or full-blown super heroics, you will ultimately be sorely disappointed, but, truth to tell, if you are here already, you are not so much looking for one or the other, but the rich combination of both that Zahler so expertly delivers.In fact it is Zahler’s rich understanding of superhero dynamics that so expertly enriches this saga of a modern superhero love story. This is neither “Chick-Lit” superheroics, or a watered-down superhero comic that is spiced up with romance for the gals. this is an honest-to-goodness adult comic written for adults who have grown past the need for busty babes in spandex and over-testosteroned guys in spandex that solve things by hitting them.
This is the superhero comicbook for the rest of us. Thom tells me that issue #10 is due out for Free Comic Book Day ‘09, with issue #11 due out in July. Then there is a double-sized wedding issue due in November. Thom also informs me that folks can even buy a space on the cover and attend the wedding.
I can hardly wait!