Written by: Kevin Hunter, Special to CC2K
Ever wondered what it would be like to have a series on the ordinary lives of superheroes? Yeah, I know. There was “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman,” “Smallville” and a few others not worth mentioning. But I mean a series in comics book form that shows superheroes being real people and one that’s actually good?
Love and Capes #1
Writer and Artist: Thom Zahler
Wait no more. Billionaire philanthropist playboy cartoonist Thom Zahler (his words, not mine) comes to the rescue with “Love and Capes” #1. A heroically super situation comedy comic book (again, his words, not mine) from IDW Comics. Zahler takes some of the best in superheroes and tears them down in a very funny parody reminiscent of one of my favorite sitcoms of the 1970’s, “Soap,” which poked fun at television soap operas. The only thing missing is in “Love and Capes” is Rod Roddy doing the narration (go to imbd.com for more information on “Soap”). “Love and Capes” is the story of Mark and Abby as they handle everyday life along with battling bad guys and Abby’s pregnancy. “Love and Capes” has actually been around since 2008 in graphic novel form and is now an ongoing series.
So here is the main cast of characters.
The Crusader: “Has been protecting Deco City for over ten years. When he’s not doing that, he’s Mark Spencer, accountant. He recently married his long-time girlfriend, Abby.” Abby: “Is Mark’s wife [duh!]. She owns a small bookstore in Deco City where her sister used to work. She’s known about Mark’s dual identity for a while now, as well as Darkblade’s.” Charlotte: “Is Abby’s younger sister. While trying to find work with her new Art History degree, she’s back working at Abby’s bookstore. She also knows both the Crusader and Darkblade’s identities. Darkblade: “Is the Defender of the night, the world’s best detective, member of the Liberty League, and Mark’s best friend. When he’s not fighting crime, he’s billionaire mogul Paul LaCroix. He lives in Chronopolis. He is dating Amazonia.” Amazonia: “Is also a member of the Liberty League, and is Mark’s ex-girlfriend. She is a superhero, but also a media star and author, and she’s dating Darkblade.” Again, duh!
Darkblade? Defender of the night? Billionaire mogul? Liberty League? Chronopolis? Amazonia? If you can’t figure any of this out then go back to reading “The Hunger Games,” “Harry Potter,” “Lord of the Rings,” or that new “Fifty Shades” trilogy that’s making all the women horny. The only thing that Zahler didn’t do was call the Crusader “mild-mannered.” But before you start crying foul and lawsuit, let’s make sure we know the differences between these characters and the “real” ones. First off, The Crusader is an accountant and wears a red suit. Abby, while being a being a smartass and a royal pain in the same place, is blonde. Billionaire mogul and detective LaCroix is black, and Amazonia and Abby actually get along. Other than those you can draw your own conclusions.
“Love and Capes” #1 may be one of the only comic books that does parody right. I can’t wait to see who Zahler screws with in future issues. “Love and Capes” is a great book for those who want to loosen up, have a good laugh and not take their fictional superheroes so seriously.