Comic Review: Super Corporate Heroes #3

Super Corporate Heroes #3
Written by Suzy Dias & Miguel Guerra
Art by Miguel Guerra
Letters by Suzy Dias
7 Robots
Release Date: February 13, 2013
Cover Price: 99¢

Super Corporate Heroes is Miguel Guerra and Suzy Dias’ brilliant and entertaining metaphor for the perpetual debate on public healthcare built around an early, ’80s style, comic world. In this unique political satire, superheroes are forced to obtain a license and serve under the monopolistic SuperHeroes Inc. Ordinary citizens must be insured to receive a rescue in times of need and, if they don’t have coverage, they are either subjected to an exorbitant fee or left to fend for themselves.

It’s survival of the fittest in this Candyland of Ayn Randian objectivism. Principled superheroes who long for the days of compassion and selflessness are driven out of the business and branded as commies by mouth-breathing talking heads and greedy politicians. Does this all sound vaguely familiar?

Super Corporate Heroes #3 focuses its gaze on the stories of the Invisible Hand and Blue Collar. It also includes a couple of sidebar stories about Spinlar, a Spider-Man parody who fixes his nasty issue of ass-shooting his webs, and Olympia, a Wonder Woman-style goddess who’s just in it to gain worshippers.

The Invisible Hand is an old school, rabble-rousing supervillain who pushes his aspirations of taking over the corrupt political and corporate infrastructure with an idealistic plea of evilness for the sake of evil. Underneath his principled, but morally ambiguous motivation, he just wants to exploit the system for profit and some old fashioned villainy fun.

Hand preaches to his villainous peers about the need to bring back traditional supervillains. In this world, the heroes have lost their way and are only in it to make a living or, in the case of a few lucky heroes, become absurdly rich. Maybe it takes a villain to awaken the true heroes.

On the flip side, Blue Collar is a struggling, third-tier superhero who is just trying to do right by his family. In this issue he just about hits rock bottom. When he jumps in to save a guy from being mugged, the uninsured victim refuses help in a hilarious scene that mocks the absurdity of the for-profit health insurance industry. Later in the comic, a disheveled, overworked, underpaid Blue Collar struggles to make his urgent mission, but hangs in there sheerly on his sense of duty to provide for his family.

The Super Corporate Heroes universe is rich with characters and lore. Writers Suzy Dias and Miguel Guerra are patiently building this world and laying down some storyline pipework. I find myself wishing that this comic series would focus more on a single character, such as issue #2’s real American Icon, or even a team. But then again, we wouldn’t be treated to fantastic, random sidebars such as Olympia’s haughtily ridiculous pursuit of glory. Still, I suspect that events are brewing that will bring the true heroes together for a Triple Threat showdown between true heroes, greedy corporate heroes, and the wildcard supervillains.

Super Corporate Heroes is tailor-made entertainment for wonky political geeks. This issue continues the comic’s trademark intentionally cheesy dialogue and humorous, political satire wrapped around an simmering, Fight the Power storyline. After waiting many long months for this issue, my only wish is for a more regular release schedule. If you’re the type whose Friday nights typically mix in an episode of Real Time with Bill Maher, then you will absolutely love this series.

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