It’s hard to get a laugh in comic books these day. It’s partly due to the format, which isn’t as good as TV or movies at timing. Or maybe we just don’t get enough good comedy in comic books to make a fair judgment. Deadpool can’t be the only source of humor can it?!
I take a look at a new indie series that hopes to increase the chuckles. Is it good?
Serving Supes #1 (Devil’s Due/1First Comics)
This series is about two very human twin brothers who run a business serving superheroes summons. They run a bail bonds and court documentation company specializing in superheroes. That is of course the most boring job ever, but when you consider the personality of these brothers mixing with very angry superheroes (and sometimes villains) you have a good formula for comedy. In fact the characters in this little yarn are quite interesting and the dynamics between them really drives the story forward.
Writers Steve Stern and Matt Yuan open the book with Cheech and Clive as they attempt to serve a hero a summons, but receive violence instead of a gracious acceptance. The hero shoots them both with “ocelot” spray from his armpits which is green and goopy. It’s gross and weird and might make you think this is a juvenile comic book, but it quickly proves it’s not what you think. This is due strong dialogue, clever layouts and fresh characters.
One example of some clever layouts is right after the ocelot spray when the twins talk to the reader. The twins talk to the reader in a three panel tier at the top of the page. It’s used a few times throughout the comic from other characters as well to explain themselves and their personal thoughts. The twins are rather naive and oddly outgoing which makes them cartoonish and easy to swallow. Their employees are much more complex though and give the title a bit more color. One is an alien with an IQ of over 40,000 who’s only working because she has student loans. Another has nightmares of being beat up as a child by super villains. They add polish to many of the character moments and make the comic continually fresh and fun.
Another layout I positively loved was one where the twins take a phone call from a job prospect. The twins run along the left side of the page, the prospect on the right in 3 parallel panels down the page. Between them is the job which is a super villain named Dominatrix. She’s practically nude and cast in shadow creating an ominous foreshadowing for the characters. All they have to do is find her as she never showed up for her trial. Easy. Except it isn’t and it sets up the main plot of the issue as the twins go on their latest adventure.
What is a “full ocelot”?
So the art is interesting and the characters too, but is it funny? It’s smirk worthy, I’ll give it that, but I was never laughing out loud while reading it. It’s a little too cute to be that funny and when it is humorous it’s due to the smug and annoyed supporting characters. In a lot of ways it’s like a good sitcom as it’s even keeled and entertaining throughout.
The art by John Yuan works really well for the premise rife with energy and a ton of little details to keep things interesting. Characters tend to have very little details in their faces unless they go full Looney Tunes with heads exploding and eyes going pinwheel crazy. It’s not overused though and works effectively to spruce up a moment and get the point across. There’s a lot of arm waving and clever body language too which helps make every panel compelling. Take for instance a panel of one of the twins bending over holding his ankle. It shows how tired and sore these guys are but does it quick and efficiently.
That is one massive crotch shot.
Is It Good?
Entertaining every step of the way with plenty of interesting supporting characters and fun character dynamics. It’s humorously fun and worth every dime. Can’t you spare a dime!?