Image Comics 2015
Written by James Robinson
Illustrated & Lettered by Greg Hinkle
This is one of the most outrageously funny and breaking that fourth wall style comics that screams out to be read. This is unlike anything else i’ve read in the history of me reading comics and that’s saying something incredible. It’s surreal enough in that they’ve taken the risk of caricaturing themselves into the story as these drug addicted, sex crazed guys with little to no moral compass and yet have introduced us to this story where the character Airboy comes to actually teach them a lesson in how to behave like men. At least that’s what I’m taking away from this issue anyway.
Go on ahead for Greg too because i’ve never seen this much penis outside an all male adult comic book. Also his work throughout this book is just kind of different and unique and the fact that only Airboy or David is in colour really makes him stand out, innovative like Wizard of Oz was back in the day. Then there’s the bar scene they are all in and that too just screams out for attention because it really is something different and outside the box and showcases the risks and talent and chutzpah he’s doing in this book.
James is able to do some things here that go even further beyond the unexpected and since he’s firmly established the satire in all this when Airboy asks them if they are super-villains or rather stooges of some super-villain since that’s what they really look like you laugh and not at the absurdity of what’s happening but because it’s humorous on a serious level. This hot on the heels of them thinking they are in some drug induced hallucination then having to sit down with Airboy and hear his concerns about modern society it’s all done in this a serious tongue in cheek way, and by that I mean as a society we’ve lost the pride in dressing to be seen in public and as someone out of time it just showcases the kind of world we live in and puts it in a brutally honest light.
With James trying to explain to Airboy his place in the world he finds himself in now and ebb and flow of characters in the industry is interesting and again it’s an honest and frank look at trying to revive certain characters whose roots stem in some type of war book. After a bit seriousness however we get back to this fun style we started with as the boys buy pot brownies and Airboy shows down on em and this leads the trio to a bar.
At the bar which seems to cater to gay and transgendered clientele Airboy gets a huge surprise when he’s serviced in the bathroom and the woman asks for service in return and he’s flabbergasted that she has a penis. Feeling as if he’d been pushed too far he does something I”m sure even he didn’t know he was capable of and takes the boys to his world to show them what a real day looks like. We end with the boys in the midst of WWII and the guys are in for the times of their life.
I have an unmitigated respect for this story as it goes from the absurd to a life altering experience. There’s such a diverse shift in how people live and present themselves from Airboy’s time to ours and somehow even with all this over the top humor that point is hammered home wonderfully. James may be known for writing certain types of characters but after this he’ll be known for being able to write whatever he darn well pleases because he’s just that darn good.
Originality doesn’t get any more real than this!