REVIEW: SUPERHERO HELP DESK
Writing by Kerrie Smith and Hugo Boylan
Art by Triona Tree Farrell
Okay. Time for another webcomic review. As you may remember, I do these a little differently than my usual reviews. So up first is a description of their series:
“The Superhero Help Desk is a really simple idea: what if one of the greatest superheroes, had to retire from ‘heroing’ for a really mundane reason? Like say an allergic reaction to flowers that causes him to sneeze fire. Where would he go? What would he do?
So we took Captain Extremo, a leader in the heroing world and we dropped him right in the middle of an office filled to the brim with similarly retired super-persons and just let the madness ensue. I suppose the best way to describe the Superhero Help Desk is a humorous merging of superpowers and office antics. Now, we realise that no matter how extreme Captain Extremo, is a quite polite country boy working in a call centre isn’t going to carry a webcomic all by himself, so we dug through the backlogs of lost and forgotten superhero lore to piece together the rest of the cast.
There’s our mad scientist, Doctor Maniacal, a reformed-ish super villain who now works on the villains help desk. For him we blended aspects of Doctor Doom and Frasier Crane and crammed two huge personalities into a little bald man with a pencil moustache. Then we threw in the Amazing Fixo, a mentor character to show Captain Extremo the ropes and, you know get him to start calling himself ‘Jimmy’ again. Fixo is a southern gent who’s seen and done it all, and he’s done it without having any powers! Sounds good so far right?
Well we thought we’d need a kind of guide too, a character who can introduce the office, a consummate professional with personality and charisma to lend. That didn’t really work out and we ended up with White Noise, a retired child sidekick turned disinterested Human/Superhuman Resources Manager. Sure he could help out, but, you know, whatever. Juxtaposed to this very blasé character is our legal eagle, Diabliana Morningstar, daughter of Satan and princess of Hell. Of course she became a lawyer when she retired from professional villainy. She’s got a short fuse and an explosive personality, what a mix!
Then there’s Wanda, she’s really a lovely girl and whiz with numbers. She’s also an amorphic alien cloud who floated down to Earth and based her current appearance off of a fashion magazine. She’s a bright spark, but tends to misunderstand simple human customs.
Add to that a whole host of side characters and some really ridiculous situations and you’ve got a pretty fun office to work in.”
The series begins with some zero issues that give some background on the stars of the books with guest artists including Anthea West and Leeann Hamilton. These stories give you the reasons why the characters end up in the office. When we get into the actual episodes, the stories are, as the title suggests, a mixture of superhero and office humour. Being a fan of The Tick and strips like Dilbert, the stories are right up my alley. There is an ongoing element to the story with a couple of chapters completed and I’m looking forward to getting more into it. (The book is still pretty early in its run which also makes it pretty easy for you to catch up.) The art style really suits the tone of the book and adds to the humour of the book (especially in the facial expressions). So if you’re having a bad Monday, visit the Superhero Help Desk website and have a laugh.
As usual, I’ll end with where you can find the story and I’ll post an episode for people to enjoy. I picked it because… well.. cats and the internet!