Authors Luke and Daniel Keioskie describe Spandex Always Rises as “a super comic novel.” And that’s perfectly pun-y. Not only is it A) a super funny novel, but it is also B) a funny novel about comic book superheroes. Get it? The Keioskie brothers are being clever. They’ve written a funny book about funny books.
Be forewarned, however. The book may be relentlessly clever and funny, but it is intended solely for the amusement of the nerdiest nerds in the kingdom of nerdvania. If you can’t spot a Jack Kirby pun or a Justice League metaphor, then you should probably spend your entertainment dollars elsewhere. Spandex Always Rises is mainline dope for hardcore superhero hikikomori.
The novel begins with a funny soliloquy from Crowman (better known as Bird Boy). “There’s nothing super about me,” he says. “Except for the fact that I’m a superhero.” He’s an insecure, melodramatic guy who will do anything to become the greatest superhero in Millennium City. He’s even willing to murder Bright Star, Earth’s mightiest alien orphan, the dude of steel, and evil’s most lamented foe.
Oddly enough, that puts him in the same league as Dr. Tempest, a crabby apple who’s been waging a personal vendetta against Bright Star for more than 70 years. Horatio Tempest is a self-proclaimed supervillain, inventor, agitator, and ex-poet. And if you didn’t know, he’s the guy who put “bwha” in bwhahahaha.
Crowman and Dr. Tempest both hate Bright Star, but that doesn’t make them best friends. Despite their distaste for the squeaky clean hero, they remain committed to their superhero/supervillain allegiances. It’s been said many times and many ways, but the line that separates hero and villain is a very thin line. Is there really any difference between Batman and the Joker? Or Dark Avenger and Crazy Clown? We don’t think so.
When asked to describe the supervillain lifestyle, Dr. Tempest replies, “It’s like a box of chocolates thrown into the garbage.” Undoubtedly Crowman would describe the superhero lifestyle the exact same way. It’s like a box of chocolates thrown into the garbage, emptied into a dirty stinking alleyway, trodden on by muggers, kicked by junkies, and pissed on by mongrel dogs. In other words, it’s pretty damn good.
[Spandex Always Rises / By Daniel and Luke Keioskie / First Printing: January 2012 / ISBN: 9781618770400]