REVIEW: Superhero Showcase

Story by: Gar Shanley
Art by: Cathal Duggan
Letters by: Cathal Duggan
Publisher: Windell Comics
Cover Price: €6.00
Reviewed By: David O’ Leary
This book is the precursor to Supernatural Showcase also from Shanley and Duggan. A couple of years old now to be sure but all the same it deserves a mention as a book like this is too good to not mention a few points from.
The production of the book for one is a talking point in of itself. The book is meant to be a history of the best superhero stories from the long history of the fictional Windell Comics. From cover to cover you get a feel of what the fictional Windell Comics bullpen was all about. From the lippy letters page to the advertisements at the back, the tongue was firmly in cheek. There are a number of smaller strips in the issue that build up to a final strip where a being called the Dekonstrucktorr who pays more than a passing resemblance to one of comics living legends.  *cough* Alan Moore *cough* shows up and sucks everything off to the Northampton Dimension in a very surreal ending to the book. To get to that point though there are a load of laughs to be had. One highlight strip for me was one called The Metal Avenger, an armored suited protector who polices the inner city streets. He is brought down because of a shopping trolley thrown from a bridge. When he crash lands on the road below, his armor is covered in graffiti and battered by a gang of youths. The story was hilariously written and presented.
Another great strip in the book is one called This Monster, This Mystery which deals with a team called The Continuum whose demise is brought about due to a very complicated history and an extremely dense continuity. It made me laugh how no fight could go ahead without the team explaining their history. I felt for Cathal Duggan who had to letter the book. I could only imagine the look on his face when he saw the script for this strip.
Cathal Duggan had a busy time in this book. There is nary a page or a panel that isn’t full of detail. I don’t know how much description was in the script from Shanley, but Duggan earned his stripes here. His visual presentation of The Metal Avenger for example made the gag just as much as the writing.
This was a great little book and can be bought off the Windell Comics web site. For an off the beat book that will make you laugh out loud and while making you think, look no further.