AHOY Comics’ ‘My Bad’ #1 introduces a brave new world of daft new superheroes and an even dafter supervillain. A Silver Age parody written out of love and a deep understanding of the genre, its tropes and its conventions.
It’s the turn of Mark Russell, Bryce Ingman and artist Peter Krause to deliver the latest superhero parody in comic book form, from the same publishers that brought you The Wrong Earth. My Bad #1 is A comic book that weaves a number of strips together through the central reoccurring character of Emperor King, one of this new goofy shared universe’s prime time bad guys. Including parody adverts and more, this whole first issue gently prods the Silver Age comic books of yesteryear, which themselves seem rather ridiculous when looked at with a modern eye. Both Russell and Ingman adopt a style of storytelling that is similar in tone to MAD Magazine, as well as the musings of Alan Moore on Supreme from the ’90s. But with a little bit of biting satire thrown in here and there, as is Russell’s way. From the Amazon-like worker worryingly timed for each delivery to the fate of Boldface, a bad guy who find themselves working as modern day slaves in the privatised prison system, Russell’s targets are familiar ones, but valid ones nonetheless.
The first strip introduces the Chandelier, who receives a suspicious looking parcel from his arch-enemy. No-one will be in any doubt as to the Chandelier’s mainstream equivalent – and a DC Comics’ character Russell has written previously too – but in these preposterous parodies Russell is able to do what he could never do with such iconic characters as the Dark Knight. There are others that will resonate with readers too, maybe painfully too much, such as the Hulk amalgam, Manchild who the Chandelier drags away from his man-cave of toys… er, sorry, collectibles, to help him with a thorny problem. And, like the Hulk when he gets angry he gets big.
The two writers humour clearly comes from a place of love first and foremost. Love for the medium and the history. The jokes are shared with the reader, as best exemplified by the spoof adverts that all fans of a certain age will remember in the comics of the SiIver and Bronze Age. Adverts that were clearly designed to part gullible young readers of their pocket money. But with a modern twist.
We get new hereos the Accelerator and the dumbest of the lot, Rush Hour. A cool name, but a really weak mission statement. It all adds up to a whole lot of irreverent fun. And adding to this fuzzy, nostalgic tone is Krause’s artwork, stylised in a similar vein to a lot of the artwork of the era being pastiched. And while the colours are digitally applied, there is a lack of fussiness to them which keeps them in pace with the whole aesthetics.
A debut issue that introduces a lot of this daft new world’s primary superheroes in bit-sized stories with a lot of crossovers too that all goes towards establishing this as a shared universe, just like Stan and Jack did back in the ’60s with early Marvel comics. But with more goofy going-ons.
My Bad #1 is out now from AHOY Comics