Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Neon Girl Zero

By Dennis Pacheco

Considering how many superhero comics are out there it’s sometimes a little surprising that I don’t see that many minicomics in that genre. Though perhaps that is all in my mind, and because there are so many professionally published superhero comics I don’t really pay attention to the smallpress stuff. If I want to read superheros I can read Incredible Hercules, or Invincible, or any number of other books that I see and hear about all the time.

This comic is influenced far more by non-mainstream superhero comics, such as Powers or The Boys, than by random Marvel/DC books. Most of the story actually takes place in an apartment, deals with a guy discovering that his girlfriend is a superhero, and features superhero sex, infidelity, and costumes seemingly created to show off upskirts (but ironically so?).

Pacheco’s craft here is all very solid. I love the image on the cover (no doubt a tribute to a certain Incredible Hulk cover), and the art inside is also good. I like the designs he comes up with for the members of the League of Freedom (though the ones that don’t show up in much of the story seem far more interesting), he draws a pretty rad monster, and I detect a bit of Paul Pope-ish influence in some of the art (though I find that in everyone's art).

Still, I really wonder about stories like this and the morality of the characters involved in them. If I was going out with someone and they lied about what their job was I’d feel pretty betrayed, and it wouldn’t really matter how awesome their job was (“You’re a circus performer?!”). I’d wonder about why they lied to me, and what else they lied to me about (something that’s briefly referenced here).

I did find the comic a little mean spirited, which decreased my enjoyment somewhat. But I think that relates more to what I'm looking for in my superhero comics, and not the overall craft itself.

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