Writer: Jacques Nyemb
Illustrators: Justin Wood (Part 1) and Kayla Miller (Part 2)
Letterers: Marc Jackson (Part 1) and Kayla Miller (Part 2)
Hasenpfeffer USA is unlike any other city. It’s flawlessly beautiful, and its inhabitants are always happy and smiling. That is until one day, they would smile no more. In the dead of night, food goes missing from all the fridges across the city, leaving the inhabitants of Hasenpfeffer in a state of shock. Who are the evil geniuses behind this mess? They are the H.U.N.G.E.R Pack, and they are tired of Hasenpfeffer having a free meal. It’s time for the city to pay!
But depriving the city of well-stocked food won’t be easy. The Smörgåsbord Squad, a vigilante group of food-costumed individuals, are on standby to save the day and foil the menacing plans of the H.U.N.G.E.R Pack. These two feuding enemies will go head-to-head in the streets in Smörgåsbord Squad #1 and from the looks of it, it won’t be a simple win for either side.
In addition to this battle of good and evil—or silly vs. more silly—in Part One of the comic, readers also get the origin story of the Smörgåsbord Squad in Part Two.This second half of the story is much more brief, but is nonetheless still amusing. However, it begs the question of what the real intentions of the Smörgåsbord Squad really are!
Smörgåsbord Squad #1 is an outrageously entertaining and humorous comic for all ages. Writer Nyemb’s charm works off the extreme qualities of the narrative, in which every aspect of the story is exaggerated. After all, the whole concept of food going missing in a city is farfetched, which is what makes it fun and enjoyable in the first place. It is so random that it works! I mean, extremely perfect happy-go-lucky city, missing food in the fridge that signals the end of the world, greedy food-consuming villains, and ridiculously looking food-costumed vigilantes? If an adult reader can’t appreciate the simplicity of it all, I’m sure a child would get a kick out of this fun-loving comic.
The characters in this first issue are likeable, mainly because they act silly and are adorably illustrated. The colors of the pages reflect a very lively and cheerful narrative, yet it’s the characters’ seriousness in the plotline that emphasizes the joyful absurdity of it all. Also the narrator of the comic speaks directly with the characters. It is unusual, but fits with the overall tone of the story. As an aside, my favorite characters are the burrito, taco, and what I can only assume is either a cinnamon stick or a churro. Their existence is the best part of this comic and I hope we learn more about them.
While using two different artists can be risky, I appreciated both Justin Wood and Kayla Miller’s contribution in Part One and Two of the comic. Their cartoonish similarity makes for a fluid storyline, but their individual uniqueness also makes the two parts stand out on their own. Wood’s art is wacky and devious, stressing the silliness of the plot. Miller’s art, while still bubbly, gives off a more serious tone. Because her art is used for the origin story of the Smörgåsbord Squad, it makes complete sense how squad leader, Sir Bacon, is portrayed from being a businessman to a bacon-costumed vigilante in Wood’s depiction of the same character.
Smörgåsbord Squad #1 is not your typical comic, but if we look at it within the scope of an all-age comic, my verdict it that it is pretty darn great!
4.0 out of 5.0.