On the prowl with The Pride

Assemble a team of SuperQueeroes from your adolescent RPGs and they might look something like Joe Glass’s The Pride. The smart and earnest bunch mobilized by Fabman, our rainbow-caped crusader, includes characters that nod to heroes past while pushing the archetypes forward. Notable characters include Frost, a heroine that’s more besuited Dom than bedazzled pinup; Queen Sapphire of Labrysia, a real Amazonian princess type that brings to mind both mythological Greek warrior and beautiful native of Brazil (sorry, Lynda Carter, she wins); Bear, a bear (literal, figurative – heh!); and Angel, a real-talking drag queen who casts the power of Confusion over enemies(I hear negative echoes of “What are you?” in this ability, but the comic treads lightly).

Our villains, like those in real world, are religious zealots and playground bullies and there’s something extremely cathartic about seeing their plans foiled. A group of allies also makes an appearance, but their total apathy – they preach a ‘progress comes in baby steps’ message – makes you question their “Justice Division” moniker (justice for whom?).

A standing ovation is in order for issue #1’s spinoff In This Shirt. Those last few pages contain a powerful origin story, devoid of dialogue, and centered on a fatal homophobic attack. When read in conjunction with The Irrepressibles’ song for which it’s named, it will wreck you harder than that scene from Up (Ugh. Ugly crying).

The comic is self-aware, but never self-serious. There may be times in each issue where the action pauses for a very special word on The Body Politic, but those moments never come at the expense of humor or flat characterization. And thank Xenu! Because, honestly, I’ll be the first to admit there are corners of the community that feel some things are too precious to be joked about, but that approach doesn’t always advance the conversation. Oops! You used the wrong pronoun! Hey, you thought you could catch HIV from a handshake! Silly mistakes, but we all make them so let’s move on. There are bigger battles to fight and this comic wants you on its side.

 

Edited: Angel, mistakenly identified as a transwoman, is a drag queen. She'll speaks up for the T in LGBT though. Solidarity, y'all!

In This Shirt appears in issue #1, not #4. And it's still awesome. That was not a misprint.

on February 20, 2014