Love and Capes #11-12
After a bad day, there’s nothing that picks me up like the romantic comedy of Thom Zahler’s Love and Capes.
Issue #11 has the couple, Mark and Abby, preparing for their upcoming marriage. Abby’s having problems finding the right wedding dress. When she does find the perfect gown, there’s a catch … it’s connected to Mark’s ex-girlfriend, Amazonia. That’s a bit of a stretch, but it does allow us to see a lot more of the superheroine than her previous, more limited role as jealousy-maker.
That’s one of the characteristics of this series that I really appreciate … Thom Zahler takes the cliches of both the superhero and romance genres, plays jokes with them, and then dives into them to make them something more. It all stays very funny, but with meaningful emotions underneath the jokes. The emphasis is on male/female interactions that most everyone can relate to.
Ok, maybe every guy didn’t date a superpowered Wonder Woman type, but there’s always an ex-girlfriend who seems more impressive in some ways. Yet in this case, Zahler takes the time to give her concerns and feelings of her own, as she wonders if she’ll ever find her own true love. You can’t hate Amazonia, even with the amazing body and royal bearing, when she’s trying her best and demonstrating her own humanity (and struggling with a difficult mother).
I’m also impressed that Zahler has kept up the paneled pacing through all these issues, too. Each page has two sets of four panels, and each set has some punchline or element that lets them work as a strip. Yet read in sequence, they make up a much longer story. It’s a skill to balance both lengths so well.
Issue #12 brings the moment we’ve all been waiting for — the wedding. But first, there’s a storyline I could never have predicted but perfectly suits the characters: Abby wakes up on what she thinks is her wedding day only to find that she has no boyfriend, she’s living with her sister, and the Crusader (Mark’s heroic identity) died three years ago. It’s got everything a superhero wedding should have — friends, family, romance, danger, and heroism. It beautifully demonstrates just how well-suited she is for her larger-than-life beau.
You can preview issue #13, which will be out as part of Free Comic Book Day in early May, as part of this interview with Zahler about his goals for the series.