‘Super Human Resources Volumes 1-2:’ TPB Review

There’s a whole lot going on in Super Hero Resources. Taking place at an office building full of superheroes, practically the entire first issue is simply a guided tour of that building, introducing us to a new character practically every panel. Just about all of them end up coming up again over the course of the comic, each with their own subplot. It’s interesting but can also be a bit overwhelming if you’re not prepared for it.

Tim is a temp worker who’s been assigned to work at SCI – Super Crises International. It’s a vast organization of superheroes, run like an office. While the heroes are out saving the world, there’s a team of ordinary humans working back at SCI headquarters to keep the wheels turning: an HR department to deal with personnel issues; an accounting department to keep track of billable hours and invoices; etc.

It’s the accounting department where the bewildered Tim finds himself working, and where the bulk of SCI’s problems come from. It seems that, between rampant property damage and exorbitant expenses, SCI has been hemorrhaging money. It’s up to Tim to make sure all the books balance out, under the direction of the much-hated Gordon from Corporate whose job is to downsize the company. Meanwhile, Tim’s immediate supervisor, Roger, seems to be turning into a crazed supervillain, and some unknown force is determined to destroy SCI.

That’s the first volume. In the second volume, Tim the Temp has been given a full-time, permanent position at SCI and is still trying to find ways to reduce costs and increase revenues. Then, a well-timed attack hits SCI while the superheroes are all out on a job, leaving Tim and the other office workers to defend it. Meanwhile, our heroes are delayed by an intergalactic diplomatic issue that one of their alien heroes finds herself caught up in. It should be noted that Volume 2 also has a drastically different art style than Volume 1 - more detailed and colorful, making it easier to distinguish between the vast pantheon of characters.

There really is quite a large number of characters in this comic—many of whom are pretty bizarre/funny. First of all, there are the obligatory parodies of Superman (Stalwart) and Batman (Wombat, who’s determined to groom Tim to be his boy sidekick). There’s the zombie who works at the front desk as part of their villain rehabilitation program. There’s the sentient robot who continually sexually harasses his female coworkers. There’s Zeus, who speaks in a clunky, faux-Shakespearean tone. And, many more.

Much of the comic’s humor comes from juxtaposing these larger-than-life hero characters with ordinary, real-world situations. The group wants to organize a surprise birthday party for their zombie receptionist, complete with ice cream cake. One of the regular human workers wants to ask the hot female alien to go with him to the office Christmas party. A cadre of shadowy supervillains stop in the middle of discussing their evil plot to talk about what happened on The Bachelor last night.

Some of these juxtapositions are pretty funny, while others kind of miss the mark. Some of them have also been done before by other superhero spoof stories, with varying degrees of success. Super Human Resources is decent enough in its approach. The problem is, though, that there are so many different characters that it’s difficult to get to know any of them with any degree of depth. Therefore, each of them is relegated to these throwaway gags about how they’d interact in an office setting. There’s very little to get us invested in any of these characters beyond those gags.

Throughout this comic, I was reminded of another comic called Love and Capes. The premise is very different, but the tone is similar in that it juxtaposes the superhero world with the mundane everyday world. In that regard, I think Love and Capes succeeds on a level that Super Human Resources doesn’t, since it concentrates on just a few major characters and really takes the time to flesh them out and let us get to know them. By making the characters more real to us, it improves both the story and the humor.

That’s not to say that Super Human Resources isn’t worth reading as well, though. It’s pretty funny throughout, and the overall plots of both volumes are compelling and well-crafted. If you’re a fan of superhero parodies, zany, off-the-wall humor, and bizarre juxtapositions of the fantastical and the mundane, then you should probably check out Super Human Resources. Do yourself a favor, though, and check out Love and Capes, as well.

Last modified on Friday, 25 March 2016 14:09

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