Casual Comics Review – Love and Capes
So, you never know what you’ll find when you walk the floor at Comic Con. Earlier this month, I wrote an extensive post about what’s right about SDCC. One of the criticisms about the show is that comic books are “marginalized” at San Diego Comic Con. If that’s true, how did I ever find “Love and Capes”?
It didn’t take me long to be charmed by the story of “Love and Capes”, but it did take me surprisingly long to be able to categorize it. For a while, I struggled with a way to capture the essence of the book, since it draws on varied inspirations. Finally, I discovered the best, concise summary of the book: “The Heroically Super Situation Comedy”.
The reason I chuckle when I relate that anecdote is because that’s the description in small print right on the cover of the trade. It only took me three weeks to see it.
The first trade, “Do You Want to Know a Secret”, kicks off with our hero (Crusader) contemplating telling his girlfriend about his secret identity. It’s not standard “comics” fare, though, because the whole tale is told with the sensibility of a 90’s sitcom. “Friends” comes to mind.
It also helps that most of the story is told in four-panel chunks. Set-up, gag, punchline. In that way, it’s also very “sitcom”. It makes me think that this whole thing started out as a webcomic, but I’ve got a job and kids, so researching that would take too much time.
The universe of “Love and Capes” is a take-off on the DC Universe. Think of Crusader as Superman. Then, you’ve got Darkblade, millionaire playboy-by-day, dark detective-by-night (remind you of anyone). Prior to meeting his completely normal girlfriend, Abby, Crusader dated Amazonia (of course).
In order to ground the world in a more even-keel sitcom world, though, Abby is a small book shop owner and works with her sister. Little sis has man problems of her own and gets tired of hearing about how “super” Abby’s boyfriend is. Seems like she might be ready for a super-setup.
“Love and Capes” is a great book for casual comics fans. If you know the basics of Superman, Batman, Spiderman, Wonder Woman, etc., you’ll get half references and jokes. And if you’ve ever been in a relationship with another human being (or have seen “Mad About You”), you’ll get the other half.
So, for those who might say that San Diego Comic Con is not about comics, I say “Pshaw!” I walked over to a table to talk to author Ben Thompson (Badass: Ultimate Deathmatch), who you’ll hear about soon. Zahler just coincidentally had the booth adjacent to Thompson. While Anthony chatted with Ben, this comic caught my eye. And, after a brief conversation with Zahler, I decided to pick up the first trade. And I’m 100% glad I did.
He also signed it to me AND my wife.
P.S. – Turns out it is a webcomic at loveandcapes.com