Astounding Villain House is a one-shot comic created by Shannon Wheeler. Shannon has been everywhere, and he is much more high-brow and “thinkety” than what I normally go in for. We’re talking political satire, The New Yorker, a bunch of Dark Horse stuff (including Too Much Coffee Man!), and The Onion! Yeah, he’s kind of a big deal.
Anyway, he’s created a world of dystopic/sad villains that seem to endlessly get beaten by good guys and have a pretty depressing existence, but in a funny way . . . or I guess satirical, which is what Shannon does. There are four short stories (of which the first is my favorite), all told from the “villains’” point of view.
The entire work has the feel of a parable, where we could all learn a lesson or two. In spite of this, I actually loved the work. The art is great (in a New Yorker kind of way). The characters are funny and relatable . . . but what makes this an awesome comic is the feel. Shannon manages to pull you 100% into his world; you can smell the stale air, you can hear the desperation in the voices, and you end up completely immersed.
So, if you’re tired of Hulk smashing timelines, Conan crushing his women and listening to lamentations, or Batman deducing and Bateranging, check out this title. It’ll give you a bit of perspective, entertain you, and pull out some of that "comic fatigue" that comes from reading the same story line over and over again. It’s comic medicine.