Earlier this week, the folks at Unlikely Heroes Studios sent us over an EXCLUSIVE preview of Super! #5, out tomorrow. Unlikely Heroes Studios exists, at least for now, solely to publish Super!, and it looked like a pretty cool book, so I wanted to share it with you - after I checked it out. I mean, who knows, it could be German scat porn in there or something. I'm not gonna just recommend a comic sight unseen.
And so began the saga of Jude Terror trying to read Super!. You see, UHS sent me review copies of the first four issues to check out, but they were all passworded PDFs, which meant that I apparently couldn't download the damn things. After downloading and entering the password, I would just see a blank gray screen. But when I tried to open them in the browser, they would just load the first couple pages and then hang. Repeat this process over the course of a couple of days and combine it with the embarrassment of not wanting to email them back and say "hey, I know I'm a computer programmer and I've lived on the internet for like twenty fucking years, but I can't figure out how to get these PDFs open," and I was afraid I wasn't gonna be able to get this thing up on time.
To make a long story short (too late?), I finally got the fourth issue open and decided to seize the opportunity and read it, even without having read the previous three. The first thing I noticed was the art. This is top quality, professional work here from artist Zack Dolan. The next thing I noticed was all the cursing. This is definitely a book for teens or older, and the cursing verges on juvenile, but I think it suits the tone nicely.
What tone am I talking about? Balls to the wall superhero action. Dolan and writer Justin Piatt have created a superhero universe bursting at the seams with superpowered heroes. We're talking three generations of superhero characters (think Marvel or DC if the heroes actually aged and new ones took their places permanently). And, at least in issue #4, they're all kicking the crap out of each other (or, to be more accurate, collectively getting the crap kicked out of them by a pissed off Russian supervillain who had been transported through time from the cold war era to modern times). You'll see all the superhero archetypes in here, some with interesting twists (like a speedster that runs naked). The costumes and characters feel familiar, because Super! isn't reinventing the wheel, and I mean that in a good way. They're making the superhero comics that Marvel and DC might be making if they weren't too busy trying to be serious businessmen and get in USA Today. If you're a fan of Invincible, you will probably enjoy this book. If you're a fan of superhero comics but feel tired by the nonstop grimdark and marketing ploys of the mainstream superhero comic industry, you should definitely give Super! a try.
Did I mention the non-stop action? You get your $2.99 worth of action and then some here.
Zack Dolan and Justin Piatt started this project on Kickstarter, and five issues in, they've got their own (one-book) publishing company, five issues (as of tomorrow) on comiXology, and a hardcover edition coming collecting those first five issues in a couple months. I think they're doing a great job, and if you think there's any value to my opinion on these matters, then consider giving Super! a look.
I don't want you to think of this as a formal review because I haven't read the previous issues, but I will say that I found it easy to jump in at issue #4 and this is definitely a book I'm interested in reading more of. So much so that I may just have to add it to my comiXology pull list. Here's a preview of issue #5, out tomorrow on comiXology, and a trailer for the comic in general. I hope you'll consider checking out an indy comic with mainstream superhero sensibilities. It may be just what you're looking for.
And I can confirm that there is no German scatological porn in the pages of this comic. Well, unless it's in the first three issues. If so, sorry about that.