Posted: Tuesday, March 21, 2006
By: Steve Saville

Cover of Super Creator(s): Erik Weems
Publishers: Selfpublished
From: USA
Price: $2 pp(US)

After being totally won over by Erik’s Fistful of Ink I had high expectations of this tidy looking 20 page mini comic.

Overall it just fails to live up to those expectations. This does not mean that Super is bad it just means that Fistful of Ink is very good. I suspect that Erik is on cruise control here. Refining his art, playing with his cast of characters but tending to play safe.

So each of the four stories are well drawn in Erik’s distinctive style but the tales just don’t seem as quirky this time around and, surprisingly, some of the punch lines even seem a little lame. I must accept that maybe this is because my expectations had been high but hey Erik you created those expectations so you can damn well continue to provide them.

The subject matter is familiar, as are many of the characters. Most of the inhabitants of Super are ‘not quite’ heroes, often of the costumed kind. Weems delights in taking costumed heroes and stripping away their capes and masks to reveal them as human, and sometimes quite tragic, characters. There is a genuine sadness in the desperation that drives people to constantly relive past glories and Weems captures this with skill.

The opening strip, Alligator Man is a good example of classic Weems at play. This reptilian caped hero is an original Weems character and as such he is flawed. Yes he has the cape and the fame but in this strip he is exposed as a hypocritical slime ball. This is classic Weems, a theme he plays well and with effect. This return of Alligator Man reveals a character even more obnoxious than he was previously.

The second strip, Scary Robot suffers from a predictable climax as does the strip that follows it. Superhero is saved however by the sadness that lies within it. A series of super heroes that are either past their use by date or close to it reflect on their lives revealing as they do the tragic reality of aging.

The last comic is a psychological fantasy where a group of Batmen and a Spider Man argue over who is the genuine article.

I think that Erik Weems would find it difficult to produce a poor comic his challenge is to continue to raise the bar.

In a Word: Cruising.

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