The Pro

May 11th, 2008 by

This comic took a simple premise and ran with it: what if a run-down street prostitute and mother suddenly got superpowers! I love anything that parodies the ridiculous superhero comic genre well, and this definitely did that. But surprisingly, it did more than just that. By the end of the comic, I felt like there was actually a meaning to all the swearing and gratuity. A statement about what it means to be a hero (and by extension what it means to be human, since all hero stories are really meant to be about everyone).

Florence thought: boobies. She likes ’em. She also notes that there was certainly a callback to Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex (by Larry Niven, which Susie just mentioned in her recent post). She thought the green lantern parody was amusing, but got old fast. I actually found that to be one of the more tactless parts of the book, but she rightly argues that it’s a satire of some of the poorer depictions of token black characters in comics. I guess I thought it was a bit more offensive than some of the other offensive parts of the book.

Perhaps the main thrust of the book was to poke holes in the righteous nature of superheroes (mainly DC characters), belittling the big story lines that don’t adequately capture the sordid day to day struggles that regular people want help with. The characters in this book only fight supervillians. It’s almost like Americans declaring themselves “world” champions at the superbowl, even though none of the other countries are participating. These superheros are really only fighting battles in a certain arena, yet declaring themselves the saviors of all humanity.

Entirely worth reading just for the scenes with “The Viewer” (aka “Voyeur”), who was a not so subtle take on the Monitor. Overall: awesome and recommended.

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