Love and Capes #2

Love and Capes #2 cover

I really enjoyed the first issue, and I’m thrilled to see that there’s more. It’s even better for being a Christmas issue.

After Abby and her boyfriend Mark (who’s also the Crusader) attend a friend’s wedding, we get to the meat of the issue: What should Mark get Abby for Christmas? And how will holiday family visits go?

Although the situations can be familiar, the humor stays fresh. Actually, it probably works so well because the reader sortof kindof knows the characters already, so Thom Zahler doesn’t have to spend a lot of time establishing background. He can get right to the jokes. For instance, from just one four-panel strip:

Love and Capes #2 cover

Mark (to Abby, changing): What takes you women so long anyway?
Abby: Hey, I just had my hair blow dried at Mach One.
Mark: I was there, too. Don’t see that slowing me down.
Abby: Well, some of these outfits you men make us wear–
Mark: Don’t forget I change into a unitard in a phone booth, dear.

I was pleasantly surprised that Zahler could take on often-seen settings — such as a wedding reception bouquet toss — and come up with new gags. The introduction of the classic superhero (although one who isn’t stodgy or old-fashioned) provides an unusual element and new context.

Zahler’s relationships, whether between Mark and Abby or Mark and his superhero friend (who calls himself the “World’s Greatest Detective”), are nicely realistic. They make fun of each other, they spat, but they also help each other out and trust each other, so you can tell they really care.

And maybe it’s me being sappy because of the season, but I teared up a little when I saw what they got each other. Actually, it’s more accurate to say what they thought up to give, because it’s the concept of the gifts, and how they required observation and truly knowing the other’s desires, that makes them meaningful.

A great comic, and a terrific read for the season (or any time).

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