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“Don’t die, Chubby!”

Seaguy is shaping up to be one of my favorite superhero comics in a while. It’s the sort of comic where you half-expect a purple gorilla from Mars to show up at any moment (no gorillas yet, but Atlantis and its clockwork wasps have made an appearance). It has that Silver Age-DC sense of manic nonsense in it, but it’s not a nostalgic trip back into the past… Grant Morrison and Cameron Stewart grab what they need and leap forward. #2 is very different in tone from #1, and Seaguy and Chubby are finding out why nobody goes on adventures anymore. Things are getting heavy but, thankfully, neither grim nor gritty. (But then, with Animal Man, Doom Patrol, New X-Men and even The Invisibles, Morrison’s always been a chief contributor to the school of ‘mature’ superhero comics that don’t stand on the shoulders of Frank Miller and Alan Moore).

I’m still considering this, but I think Seaguy intersects neatly with the current superheroes-as-fascists conversation flying around the blogs (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, etc.). The only authorities in Seaguy’s world seem to be Mickey Eye and his I-Police, who rule by enforcing the herd mentality with marketing and consumerism. The superheroes have all retired, not because the regular folks decided heroes are fascist, but because they decided they don’t need heroes. (Who needs a superhero when you have a ridiculous iron umbrella to protect you from meteorites? And who cares if the meteorites are moon rocks covered in Egyptian Hieroglyphs? I’m sure the people who’re supposed to know about that stuff know what’s going on…) When Seaguy and Chubby decided to become real heroes and go on adventures, their decision makes them pretty much the opposite of powerful auhority figures—not only does nobody take them seriously (taking things seriously doesn’t seem to be allowed), now they’re being hunted by the I-Police. But at the same time, the I-Police are so inept that Seaguy and Chubby can evade them easily. And the fact that Seaguy and Chubby are inept and half-hearted heroes at best (”Now we’ve done it, Chubby! Maybe we should just pretend none of this ever…”) hasn’t kept them from (accidentally) creating a humongous blob of intelligent processed-food product, (accidentally) destroying the Xoo industry, and (accidentally) discovering Atlantis.