Super Heroes Get Taken Down a Notch, With Comedic Results
Caped #3 is a hilarious look at a league of superheroes in Capitol City who require personal assistants to get their job done, arrive late to save people and throw Christmas parties. Although a lot of elements can be found in “serious” superhero titles, like alter egos struggling to make ends meet despite secret superpowers, everything of that sort is cranked up in Caped and has a big spotlight shone onto it.
There are lots of superhero titles out there that take themselves far too seriously and focus on high drama while ignoring the difficulties of everyday living. In Caped we see superheroes making out with each other, receiving physicals from doctors, quaffing Starbucks coffee while stalking potential villains, and so on... the sort of things that would likely happen but are rarely seen in ongoing tales of the super-powered. It's a welcome change of pace for anyone who's read reams of standard costumed fare.
But it's not all fun and games: there's a fair dash of the political nature of crime-fighting, highlighting rivalries among the caped crusaders and media perception of drastic events. The hero of this four-issue limited series is Edge, a Batman-like character who can't seem to get a break as a crime-fighter or as a journalist. His 28th assistant in six months is helping him unravel a mystery about a mole amongst the league while yanking him from karaoke bars.
The book has a lot of heart and soul but is somewhat stunted in its execution. The art is at times realistic and satisfying but in other places tends to be cartoonish and seems rushed. Although this could have a certain unpolished appeal to some, you definitely know that you're reading an independently-published book. The scripters sometimes use an odd device of having a scene last for only one panel which can cause the reader some disorientation and confusion. Some characters are not presented clearly and the introductions at the beginning of the book are not always sufficient to clear up all confusion.
Despite these shortcomings, the book is a delight to read. Anyone interested in a breath of fresh air from the superhero genre would do well to pick up the issue or the eventual trade paperback.