Super Psyche #1

Posted: Thursday, May 31, 2007
By: Darren Schroeder

Cover of Super Psyche #1 Creator(s): Michael Finger
Publishers: Sigma Theta Publications
From: USA
Price: US $2.99

Initial impressions can be deceiving. As I looked at the full colour cover of “Super Psyche #1” and saw that two of the three male characters on that cover were costumed superheroes I did think to myself, “oh no here we go again.” But wait, suddenly I realised that one of them was crying, OK that’s interesting. But wait again, then I realised he also had a ginger goatee beard. A ginger bearded super hero, now that’s different. Maybe that was why he was crying.

So after my initial uninspired reaction I now found my curiosity aroused. This is not just another super hero comic; it is in fact a tale that analyises what it is to be a super hero. In a way it continues down the path that Alan Moore pioneered with ‘Watchman”. Now I am not saying that ‘Super Psyche’ is in the same league as that classic but it does have certain basic similarities in so far as it is concerned with the minds of the characters as much as their actions.

The story opens with the super hero Saber Claw slumped on the psychiatric couch at the ‘Center for the Super Psyche’. It is at this point that you realise that the cover was, if anything, a little misleading. The main character as it turns out is not a super hero at all but a psychiatrist to super heroes. Phineas Finch counsels the confused and hurting super heroes of the nation. Actually the name Finch does invite us to link this comic character with Atticus Finch the lawyer in “To Kill a Mockingbird.” This is again an apt comparison as both characters strived to help others but in doing so found their moral decisions and personal lives compromised.

In this particular story the hero Saber Claw is wracked with guilt because he supposedly killed his faithful sidekick, The Paw, hence his visit to the shrink. The situation gets messy when Finch is distracted and Sabre Claw ‘offs’ himself in quite spectacular fashion.

Having established a dramatic opening Finger then uses flashback [created in very effective sepia tones] and Finch’s personal issues to add substance and depth to the narrative. The art work is efficient but predictable, it is lifted however by some nice colouring that gives the comic a very professional appearance. This first part ends with a nice cliff hanger and Finch is left with huge problems in maintaining his professional and personal dignity as it is revealed that the F.B.I is on his case. All of which adds to reader anticipation for part 2.

True some of the characters do verge on the stereotyped but the effective way Finger goes behind the fašade to look at the motivation behind the action means that we can forgive and enjoy. Anyway, any comic that places a Kiss poster on the bedroom wall has got have its heart in the right place.

In a Word: Thoughtful.

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