Love it or hate it, the Occupy Wall Street movement is the talk of the town lately. The battle of the people vs the “greedy” corporation, although an old tune, is hitting new ears and is creating a whirlwind of chatter. Believe it or not these currents events are not only shaping the public’s views but also the comic world. I got a chance to read the highly entertaining comic, Super Corporate Heroes, by Miguel Guerra and Suzy Dias that explores a world if superheroes were the “greedy corporations”.
The cover branded with the bold words “Being saved is NOT a right, it’s a privilege”, sucked me in, while giving me an idea of what lies behind those pages.
About the book:
In an alternate reality, superheroes are real and they work for a living. The economy is in the toilet and a Machiavellian supervillain called The Invisible Hand secretly controls Wall Street and the direction of the nation.
All superheroes work for a Fortune 500 called Superhero, Inc. and people pay for rescue insurance. The most powerful superheroes can earn big money and become instant celebrities. Less powerful superheroes can earn a decent living, but like everyone else they must deal with the daily grind and trying to get a piece of the American pie.
Super Corporate Heroes is not the first comic to delve into the dark possibility of heroes abusing their powers (see Alan Moore’s Watchmen and Warren Ellis’ No Hero). I’m sure Miguel and Suzy knew that, yet somehow they found a way to make a controversial topic into a page turning comic. I believe their success is in their ability to twist the familiar hero archetypes, we’ve grown to love, into money hungry “people”.
Throughout the book I saw lots of familiar heroes I’m sure where nods to Marvel and DC characters. Each hero does their job to increase Superhero, Inc.’s profitability. We get to see the inner workings of the corporation from various perspectives: the highest earners, the cogs in the wheels and even the bill collectors.
The book’s authors did a great job breaking up the sobering topic of greed with lots of humor. From an article clipping that looks straight out of tabloid magazines to inside jokes for comic fans (they’ll get a kick out of Spinlar, the Spidey analog), they made sure it was not preachy. The engaging artwork also helped a lot in making this indie comic a force to reckon with.
The great potential about this comic is that it could easily bring in the comic novice who are following the Occupy Wall Street movement. The way it uses the current events would definitely fuel the curious, and who knows, get some fresh eyes into comics.
Issue #1 does a great job introducing us to the company and some of the big players. I look forward to seeing more character development and see how all of the current puzzle pieces come together.
Current events are tough subject matters to face in a comic because they can have a polarizing effect on the readers. Somehow Miguel and Suzy found a way to blend humor and captivating artwork to make a powder keg of a subject into something worth reading. It is great for seasoned comic fans as well as the novice. It’s another great Independent Comic done right!