Well, we’ve reached the end of the road, comic book sniffers! This week saw the wrap up of Dark Horse Comics’ digital alliance with Jane Espenson and Brad “Cheeks” Bell’s Husbands property, and the last two chapters are absolutely stellar. For such an unlikely foray into comics, team Husbands has really delivered in a way that “the big two” endlessly struggle to achieve. Espenson, Bell, and Dark Horse have given this geek a booster shot of optimism that the comic book medium still has the potential to go way beyond the “capes and cowls,” appealing to new readers who have no interest in the super-powered beating that crap out of each other during the latest event o’ epic-ness.
Before we get to the finale of the series, let me address the awesomeness of Husbands #5: Arch Nemesis. I had thrown in a Kevin Keller joke in one of my previous reviews, but I never actually believed Brady, Cheeks, and Haley would actual be plopped into a pseudo Riverdale! This issue is super fun from start to finish, from the “Chick and Brick” interpretations of the leads, the hip, rhyming nature of the dialogue, the wonderfully appropriate hairstyles and clothing, to the subtle, yet absolutely fantastic, trademark Archie-style noses! Husbands #5: Arch Nemesis is full of laughs (the omnipresent narrator has some great lines in this one, such as the instantly quotable classic, “During football practice, Zak begins to suspect there may be a document in his pants . . . ”) and also carries an anti-bullying message that was much appreciated by this former dweller of the inside of lockers (not by choice, mind you). Let me give a much-deserved shout out to artist Tania del Rio for her wonderful work on the book before we move onto the finale issue.
While Husbands #6: Agent Secrets doesn’t feature the infectious pep of the previous issue, it still manages to be the perfect send off for the series. Artist Ron Chan returns to wrap up the series with his trademark smooth and expressive style, while Espenson and Bell deliver a deliciously devious spy adventure that, like any decent Bond film, delivers disguises, speed boat antics, and some much-appreciated (at least by this reviewer) toplessness from both the male and female members of the cast (who knew Haley would look so hot wearing a snake for a shirt!). My perverted and scaly desires aside, the “cherry on top” for this issue is the end of the tale which states, “In an ordinary world, our heroes are simple people . . . with an extraordinary love.” It’s the perfect message for Brady and Cheeks and the very heart of the story Husbands aims to express, no matter what the medium. Listen up, comic book sniffers: all you need is love.
You can find out more about Husbands #5: Arch Nemesis and Husbands #6: Agent Secrets, read a free preview, and purchase a digital copy of each issue (for only $0.99) at the Dark Horse Comics site. Also, don’t miss out on the Husbands hardcover which is now available for preorder! As I stated in one of my previous reviews, this is a series that will only be enhanced in every way by being collected, and Ron Chan has crafted another brilliant cover for this edition! Do not miss out on it! And, finally, if you still haven’t yet watched the Husbands sitcom, then be sure to stop by and familiarize yourself with what Ira Glass calls “the future of TV.”
That’s all for now, comic book sniffers. Until next time, love the one you’re with (no matter what genre you happen to be swinging through).
You can also check out Fanboy Comics’ previous interviews with the Husbands cast and crew, as well as my previous reviews of the Husbands digital comics, at the following links:
‘Till the end of the world,
-Bryant the Comic Book Slayer