Review: The C-Listers #1

There’s a couple of ways to approach this issue. The way I’m sure it’s meant to be taken is that it’s a comedic look a superhero relationships with a heavy influence from a post-Kevin Smith comic era in which sex is the ultimate focus and desire. The other way to look at it is that it’s a male power fantasy starring versions of other comic characters from various publishers and only seeks to deliver a story that would never be published with those characters. I honestly view it as both because most people will only see one version or the other. Some people are going to read it and think, “I love the part where the Iron Man character crawled out from underneath all that pussy.” While others will view the entire issue as offensive towards women due to the way they’re portrayed. That the one woman that’s willing to stand up to her man’s mistakes just happens to be an ex-super-villain and of course goes back to her evil friends when cheated on. That a woman that’s indestructible is of course aroused by a life or death situation and will bang the closest man in her proximity. You kind of have to pick one side or the other, but I will do my best to stay down the middle.

The story follows Lieutenant Lightning who is basically a Superman character; he’s cheated on his girlfriend Lakiesha with another superhero. He’s shown up at his friend Gear-Man’s house to confess and ask for advice from Gear-Man (Iron Man) and their other friend The Manticore (basically the Thing). Once he gets the balls to talk to her about it he discovers that she’s hanging out with her super-villain friends and so the three of them crash the party.

C-Listers #1-1In terms of the writing and plotting it’s quite good. Jebus does a fine job of controlling the pacing and keeping the plot moving forward rather than getting stuck in an endless conversation. While the dialogue is raunchy and sexual, it’s believable. That’s actually not an easy thing to do with raunchy dialogue as it usually comes across as disingenuous and only there for shock making it sound out-of-place.

The art is exceptional and actually very impressive for an independently produced comic. It fits the superhero genre perfectly, but also manages to fit the raunchy sexual nature as well. If you’re going to talk about sex you better make the scenes that lead up to the act look sexy, which McKoy does very well. The coloring is light and soft which works with the super detailed line work of the penciling. Lieutenant Lightning is a blubbering baby for most of the issue and the art captures his Ren & Stimpy/Zap Brannigan qualities quite well.

I know it seems like this should be something that as a site we should rally behind, but that’s a common misconception of our name. The truth of the matter is that this isn’t a style of comic that I enjoy and it’s for very much the same reason that I do enjoy most Kevin Smith comics. The message is “SEX” and that message is hammered over your head so much that instead of not caring and accepting it, you become aware of the fact that you can't get away from it even for a moment. Some will find this book entertaining and funny and that’s it, the train of thought will end there. For me it was just another male fantasy played out in the world of superheroes, but rather than hiding it they made it obvious. With that said I can see the talent in the writing and art and that is at least something worth commending, even if it’s something that doesn’t appeal to my tastes.

Score: 2/5

Writer: Jon Jebus Artist: Mervyn McKoy Publisher: Paper Lab Press Price: $3.00 Website