Love and Capes: Do You Want to Know a Secret? — Best of 2008

In Love and Capes, Thomas Zahler does a perfect job combining romantic comedy with superheroics. Now, you can get a great big chunk of the adventures of Mark and Abby in the new collection Do You Want to Know a Secret?, reprinting the first six issues of the series.

Do You Want to Know a Secret? cover
Do You Want to Know a Secret?
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Mark is the Crusader, the best-known superhero in town. Abby is a detail-oriented bookstore owner who somehow has missed figuring out his secret identity. They’re deeply, believably in love, and he trusts her, so he decides to stop hiding important things from her.

I love the way he shares his secret — when taking off his clothes to reveal his costume, she ignores what it means until he sits down on thin air. It’s great visual interplay that fully uses both art and text. The comedy here is honestly funny because it comes from the characters, nice people that are already familiar to the reader but have their own personalities. Abby’s not above taking advantage of Mark’s ability to create an instant Hawaiian vacation, for example. But it’s his inner self (especially his senses of humor and flattery) that makes him such a catch.

The book is structured as a series of comic strips, with two punchlines per page (made up of eight panels). Zahler’s cartoon-influenced style is appealing and well-suited for both action and comedy. There’s a lot of humor to be had in daily life with a superhero. (Presents are never secrets with x-ray vision, for example.) Also entertaining are Mark’s relationship with his best friend, hero of the night Darkblade, and Abby’s interaction with her observant younger sister Charlotte.

The chapter where Mark and Abby are trying to figure out the perfect Christmas gift for each other is very touching. Then comes setting up Charlotte with a date; attending the newest superhero movie (starring the Arachnerd); and Abby taking a role in a local theater production. Plus, Abby has to work out how to get along with Mark’s parents, who know their kid is perfect, and the superhero Amazonia, Mark’s ex-girlfriend.

The best part about the couple is the way they accept each other. Mark treats Abby as a partner, not an accessory. Too many people have made fun of Lois Lane, calling her an idiot for never proving Clark Kent was Superman; instead of that insulting approach, Zahler creates two well-rounded people who have to navigate a complex mix of careers, hobbies, skills, and personality traits, just like real life. The reader can easily see why they fell in love with each other — they have fun together.

11 Responses to “Love and Capes: Do You Want to Know a Secret? — Best of 2008”

  1. Journalista - the news weblog of The Comics Journal » Blog Archive » Jan. 16, 2009: Brilliant marketing Says:

    […] [Review] Love and Capes: Do You Want to Know a Secret? Link: Johanna Draper Carlson […]

  2. Suzene Says:

    Sounds like a ton of fun. Our hero’s perfectly square jaw already makes me grin.

  3. Spinner Rack: Blue Monday, Love & Capes #9, Mysterius #3, The Scrapyard Detectives #4, The Wind Raider #1 » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] I am running out of ways to say how much I enjoy reading this superhero sitcom. […]

  4. Ladies Get Free Comics » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] In an attempt to counterbalance some of the stupider “only boys allowed” coverage lately (another example), good guy Thom Zahler is giving away copies of his excellent superhero romance Love and Capes. […]

  5. Best of 2008 » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] Love and Capes: Do You Want to Know a Secret?Who would have thought you could turn a new twist on the superhero romantic comedy, inspired by Superman and Lois Lane? Thom Zahler did so by concentrating first on two adults in love, and the realistic struggles with family and career that result from joining two lives. Plus, very funny in creative ways, with new jokes about this favorite topic! […]

  6. Coming Up: Graphic Novels Due June 2010 » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] again, they’re putting out a second volume of Love and Capes (APR10 0387, $19.99), my favorite superhero series. Thom Zahler keeps the issues going under his […]

  7. I Am a Bad Fan Customer: Love and Capes Misprint » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] was looking forward to the release of the second Love and Capes collection, Going to the Chapel, which reprints issues 7-12. However, author Thom Zahler has […]

  8. 24 Hour Comic Book Day 2010 » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] artist of one of my favorite comic series, Love and Capes, is appearing on stage at a local mall: On October 2nd, I’ll be at the Great Lakes Mall on a […]

  9. I Write About Comic Couples for Westfield » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] superhero comic couples, I wrote about some different kinds of comic love stories, from my beloved Love and Capes to True Story Swear to God and a whole bunch of manga romances! […]

  10. Love and Capes: Wake Up Where You Are » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] third Love and Capes collection reprints the five-issue Ever After miniseries and the 2010 Free Comic Book Day issue […]

  11. Love and Capes Returns With a Baby! » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] will also be reprinting all three previous collections for resolicitation to comic shops in August. […]




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