Love and Capes #1

Posted: Tuesday, April 3, 2007
By: Steve Saville

Cover of Love and Capes #1 Creator(s): Thom Zahler
Publishers: Maerkle Press
From: USA
Price: US$ 3.95

I’ll tell you why this is a damn good comic. It was only when I had nearly finished reading it that I realised that Zahler had employed a very boring, very repetitive eight identically sized frame format for every page.

Normally that would stand out but the fact that the story presented here is just so engaging meant that I became engrossed in the romantic lives of the two main characters and didn’t even notice anything else until I snapped back into my role as reviewer.

This is a “heroically super situation comedy.” It deals with the developing romance between Mark, the accountant [AKA The Crusader, a caped super hero who rescues Deco City on a nightly basis] and his book shop working girlfriend Abby Tennyson [book shop- Tennyson get it].

In many ways it is a cartoon version of the relationship between Clark and Lois. Mark even looks Superman in that he is large, handsome and wears a red spandex suit, oh and he gets changed in telephone booths. Like the television programme that focussed on the relationship between Lane and Kent this comic is primarily concerned with the emotional dilemmas that a relationship between a mortal and a super hero presents.

It is a situation comedy and in fact is a very good one. The crime fighting superhero element is deliberately downplayed, in fact all action of that nature takes place out of frame and is described as if it is all a bit of a nuisance that gets in the way of the dating game.

The art work is of a very high quality and the fact that it is colour throughout adds to the visual effect but the real standout feature of this title is the writing. It is sharp contemporary, precise and very, very funny. For example we have The Crusader and his sidekick discussing whether he should reveal his true identity to Abby while they hold a villain by the neck high over the city. and a fallout between the lovers when they both fail to keep a secret. There are also some nice allusions to modern pop culture that just add to the fun.

The dialogue is also highly individualised and this is particularly the case for Abbey who is the more appealing of the two main characters. Her sarcasm and indignant anger when faced with the knowledge of Mark’s previous girlfriend is realistic and amusing. In fact the tension between her and the super heroine Amazonia is one of the comic’s highpoints. In the same way her fears when she watches her man get beaten up on TV whilst defending the city are touchingly realistic. The cover says it all really as Abby and Mark are locked in a passionate embrace in a phone booth, a super hero super situation comedy.

This is a feel good romance, it captures, the jealousies, the little deceits and the fluttering hearts of a couple falling in love and is not only a good laugh but also utterly charming.

In a Word: Huggable.

If you have a comment or question about Small Press then feel free to contact me