written by James Kochalka
Kochalka’s signature coloring-book-cute style meets the crude humor of South Park in this send-up of superheroes. The team is a loosely organized group of slackers with superpowers who care more about getting sex, getting high, and getting even than they do about being heroes. They are all jerks to a degree, so the enjoyment lies not in finding a hero to look up to, but in figuring out which one to root against. Jack Krak is the most obvious antihero, even after he finds God, but as loyalties change and fights escalate, goth girl Grotessa and antisocial loser Vortex begin to emerge as sympathetic underdogs. Percy, sidekick to the Superman-like SuperDan, is also likable. Percy and SuperDan spend the book trapped in an alternate dimension and while SuperDan remains impervious to its effects, Percy quickly begins to succumb, changing into a new, more interesting being. Orbiting around the superhero team are lesser superbeings who are eager for team tryouts to begin. These groupies and wannabes are willing to do anything to get a spot on the team, though they are quick to fall to each other’s—or sometimes their own—powers.
Details are not neglected here. Kochalka fills each page with foul language, violence, and off-color jokes, all aimed at making fun of both superheroes and slacker teens and young adults. Small silly asides are even slipped into the original floppy comics’ publication information. The book starts with “issue 271,” but this too is a joke, since that is actually the first issue of the comic. The plot meanders a little, but its randomness fits with the never-linear characters. Kochalka’s art is unique and instantly identifiable. He uses crayon-like colors, with thin outlines and simple shapes, giving his art a childlike quality that plays nicely against the adult humor. Body shapes are simple with an elastic, Play-Doh-like appearance. His backgrounds are equally simple and he occasionally uses photographs (taken in the field behind his house) to spice things up.
In case the title isn’t a tipoff, this book is for adults only. Nudity, drug use, graphic violence, and foul language are all prevalent in copious quantities. But it’s all in fun, so adults who aren’t afraid of a little crude humor should get a kick out of this superpowered bunch.-- Snow Wildsmith