Super Corporate Heroes #1
Created by Miguel Guerra and Suzy Dias
Written by Suzy Dias and Miguel Guerra
Art by Miguel Guerra
Letters by Suzy Dias
Release Date: May 1, 2012
Cover Price: $3.99
Digital Edition: 99¢
With the Occupy protests coming out of hibernation on May Day and the election season swinging into high gear, the Super Corporate Heroes debut couldn’t have wished for better timing. This comic begins as a metaphor for the healthcare debates and quickly evolves into a satirical political commentary on the consequences of Social Darwinism.
The story kicks off with a man hanging on the ledge of a burning building. Through hokey inner dialogue, he wonders if he can survive the fall. But, thank goodness, help arrives in the form of The Shroud, who looks strikingly similar to Batman. Only The Shroud refuses to help the uninsured man until he purchases a rescue plan. They agree on the five rescue plan. By the end of the scene, the man is already fleeced out of three rescues.
This book highlights the cruelty of “survival of the fittest” in a funny, yet creepy, take on how Social Darwinism might look in the world of superheroes. Miguel Guerra and Suzy Dias construct a world where public services like police, paramedics, and the fire department are quickly being replaced by a monopoly, super hero corporation called Superheroes Inc. Rescues are available only to those who can afford the pricey insurance plan. It’s an Ayn Rand dreamland. If you cannot afford help, then you are worthless, lazy, and probably do not deserve to live anyway. Ouch.
Thankfully, Super Corporate Heroes is not all stuffy political commentary. In fact, it has some pretty hilarious parodies on well-known superheroes. The best is Spinlar, a Spider-Man clone who disgustingly shoots webs from his ass — a more proper location for a spider-human. Repulsed customers file numerous complaints about Spinlar’s web-poop shooting superpower, which forever dooms him to a lowly existence as a poor, third-rate hero. Another character, Meerrkat, is a take on Wolverine. The comic urges you read his lines in a Scottish accent, which helps explain the bizarre spellings and rolling R’s.
Miguel Guerra’s cartoony art reinforces the political-parody theme. American Icon, the arrogant Superheroes Inc. top-dog, has an appropriately excessive butt-chin. Overly detailed and more realistic art would’ve been completely misplaced and distract from the comic. Although minor changes in art styles might enhance the varying moods that accompany the Super Corporate Heroes’ multiple storylines. As stated before, the dialogue tends to be contrived. In most other comics, I would’ve mercilessly curb-stomped the writers for such cheese-eating, over-descriptive dialogue. However, like the art style, it somehow fits with this Austin Powers-like universe.
Miguel Guerra and Suzy Dias masterfully outline a superhero universe. You get a sense that this world is like City of Heroes, just teeming with superheroes looking to make a buck and eager to save lives. Superhero Inc. guarantees it. More than simply a political satire, Super Corporate Heroes sets a fascinating stage for some interesting characters. I found myself beginning to like or hate certain characters and am eager to see how their stories play out.
Politically-minded comic readers will find Super Corporate Heroes worthy of a chance. Right-wingers will probably work themselves into a frenzy and froth on message boards about it. Or maybe they’ll find themselves thinking, “This is how it should be.” The Southpaws on the political spectrum will revel in the absurd portrayal of Ayn Rand’s Objectivism with head-nodding approval. Either way, you’ll have a take. I can’t wait to see what Miguel Guerra and Suzy Dias have in store for issue #2, which will debut the Invisible Hand. Love it! 4 out of 5.