Saturday, May 23, 2009

Love and Capes

A couple of years ago I discovered Love and Capes a romance comicbook disguised as a superhero comic. The comic was one of those Free Comic Book Day comics, and, after reading it I was hooked. To be sure, it took a second FCBD and actually meeting the creator Thom Zahler at the NY Comic Con twice before I actually ponied up to acquire the missing issues. Well they just arrived the other day and I couldn't devour them fast enough.

Yep, there are 10 issues of L&C and I have all of them, and I’m thinking about acquiring some of the other items for sale on Thom’s fully stocked store.

Love and Capes is the a “Heroically Super Situation Comedy Comic Book” or at least that what the cover copy calls it. The series extrapolates a romantic relationship between the super-powered protector of a great metropolitan city and his non-powered girlfriend. Liberally sprinkled throughout the cast are other superheroes, supervillians, friends, and family. If this sounds like the random episode of Lois and Clark than you wouldn’t be far off. Still, to call it that, would be to short-change this wonderful series.

Truly, this series is a pitch-perfect balance between the superhero daring-do that us superhero-geeks want, and the Chick-Lit Romance that our girlfriends want. The series has us involved in the personal lives of Mark (“Crusader”) Spenser and his girlfriend (now his fiancee; and soon to be his wife) Abigale Tennyson. Other major players include Darkblade the dark and grim detective protector of Chronopolis (Crusader’s best friend — and Batman to Crusader’s Superman) and Charlotte, Abby's sister.

There is a Liberty League (JLA — complete with an orbiting satellite), and numerous other characters that passingly resemble other well-known heroes (Amazonia, Yellow Flashlight, and — just in case you think that Zahler only reads DC comics — he has also included Steel Worker and (my personal favorite) Arachnerd). To be sure, this book is not one of those awful, highly disposable spoof comics that simply mocks what goes on in regular comics, it is not. Admittedly it starts in a funnybook world that is familiar to us, but the stories it tells are wholly original, using what we know about superheroes to springboard into building an on-going richly-woven tapestry that keeps us coming back for more.

If you are not currently reading Love and Capes, you should be reading it. It is the easily the best comicbook that is being published. The art is clean, dynamic, and pops off the page, the dialogue is witty and sparkling, the storylines are straightforward and don’t require a metric ton of continuity to follow, and (perhaps best of all) each and every issue is a solid story. You never get the feeling that the writer is padding out 10-page short into a 12-issue maxi-series just to get the graphic album kick on the back end over at the bookstore.

This is a wonderful story, go out now and buy the entire set. You'll agree with me, I’m sure

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