Rule #1: Always follow your own rules
We've already visited a bit about Revolutionary Comics and their claim to fame by leeching off the success of bands and sports personalities. However, the Crapbox doesn't appear to be through with them just yet. This time we are working on a property created by the late founder of Revolutionary himself, Todd Loren.
Coming from a company that sold mostly unauthorized biographies and could not even secure a proper distribution channel, a superhero comic of any kind should raise some eyebrows. I mean this must be something special, right?
Lucky for us writer/owner Todd Loren was around to explain how Psychoman would operate under different rules than we were used to:
I love this concept. Too bad that Loren fails in his execution of a few key rules. He does so starting with the second page of the comic book. What do I mean? Let me show you:
So we are going to skip over all the volumes of philosophy written refuting the existence of a supreme being and just go with "there is one." If this is going where I think it's going…
That's reality for you.
God makes Kevin a super strong mutant. Scratch rule Number 3: No basis in fact and makes no sense. Kevin gets a whole host of superpowers and none of them can be explained by "he's a mutant" in any realm other than the Marvel Universe. Oh, that means scratch rule Number 7: Copying the Marvel way.
I'm still game. Still up to see what Todd Loren will do with his superpowered teenager. Looking for him to fulfill the promise of those words on page one.
Kevin goes to tell his roommate that he broke the wall with his alarm clock. His roommate has no interest in him and cusses him out. Kevin tries to repeat the trick and then decides to take off after blasting a hole in the wall with a thrown baseball.
Next he walks along the beach in San Diego, talking to himself and creating a public nuisance with his newfound powers.
Let's start a tally shall we? This will all go against rule Number 9: Not exploring positive things a superhero could do with their powers. Strike one – destruction of public property.
Seeing as how this might get him in trouble, Kevin decides that his grab bag of powers will come with flight. Leaping into the air, he finds he is right. Because mutation and science and God and many, many believable things. Believable by Todd Loren at least.
Also notice the cussword. You're going to see that a lot over the next few pages. Because saying bad words is one of the positive things that we never see superheroes doing.
His skills at flight aren't all that and he crashes into a police officer patrolling the beach front. He properly recognizes the trouble Kevin is causing and attempts to arrest him. But resisting arrest is one of the OTHER positive things a superhero can do with their powers. Strike two for Rule 9, in other words.
And as he zooms off, Kevin cusses. SUCH a good role model.
He broods for a bit on top of a building before coming to the brilliant conclusion that he can use these powers to score with the ladies. Kevin could be Superman, but instead he just wants to get laid. It would be sad if it were true, but these characters don’t…wait for it…act like real people. Bye, bye, rule Number 6.
I suppose to Todd Loren this seems like what he and his buddies might do if they gained superpowers at age 19, but for most of us we wouldn't be flying around breaking things and yelling cuss words. Or at least I hope we wouldn't.
But back to Kevin the super-powered idiot. At a loss for what to do, he decides to fly to impress her. This just freaks her out and she runs home. It's sort of like a Criss Angel thing, I suppose, only gone completely wrong. Kevin has no choice but…
…to follow her like some creepy stalker-serial killer. He leaves when he can't figure out which apartment she went into, but seriously, this is NOT acting like a real person (unless you are a stupid real person) nor is it exploring the "very positive things" a superpowered individual could do. Strike three rule Number 9, you are out!
But it gets BETTER. And by better I mean worse of course. First Kevin heads back to the beach. He's got a huge chip on his shoulder and some anger issues.
I am glad we rested the case on Number 9 already because, Dude! Not cool!. Kevin flies around buzzing people and screaming curse words at them. I'll take a supervillain any day over someone like Kevin gaining superpowers. I mean, the guy's an enormous dick.
To prove that point, this is Kevin's roommate, a FRIEND of Kevin's.
If that's how he treats a friend that he lives with, I'd hate to see how he treats people he dislikes. I mean act civil to people in your life, dude. You chose him as a friend, so be friendly to him. The only asshat here is YOU!
And again in mid-flight this idea comes up again. I mean, it's not surprising that a loser like Kevin who thinks of women as "babes" and "chicks" would get absolutely no play from any woman. But it is sad to watch a story about a guy who is so hard up to get laid that he can get the powers of flight and super-strength and STILL the only thing he can think of is getting some.
I like how this young lady already knows the score on him. Local "village idiot," indeed. So he flies around a bit and attracts a crowd. And this happens when he lands.
Whoa! I guess KEVIN is our super villain. No cause for this one at all. If you can't take what someone is saying, learn to be the bigger person. Violence is not a solution. Because now Kevin just might be…
..guilty of murder. At the very least that was aggravated assault, but even then, KEVIN is now a walking, talking weapon. So maybe more like assault with a deadly weapon. Whatever the charge, I now am actively rooting for Kevin to die. And it really isn't a surprise when people act like this around him.
Kevin had a marvelous gift that he has pissed away. Also I'm mad at this "God" character too. Why give the good stuff to random assholes who won't appreciate it and see it for the responsibility that it is? I suppose the answer is if he did this book would be just like the ones Marvel makes. Maybe they make them that way because we can like and root for their heroes?
Like the unsympathetic asshole that he is, Kevin runs. Or rather Kevin flies. He has no compassion or moral center about him, nor is he inclined to find one. Tip to folks like Todd Loren, if you don't make your main character have any traits that the audience will find likeable, they will tend to lose interest in them and actively root for their destruction.
So far we've also seen the same gimmick over and over: Kevin being a jerk and running away from the law. Bang! Bang! Rule Number 10.
Also Bang! Bang! on Kevin. Appears he isn't bulletproof. Which makes this story all the sweeter.
We’ve also learned that violence is the answer to a verbal confrontation, that if you gain the power to fly you should dive bomb strangers while cussing at them, and the most important thing in life is getting laid. NONE of which teaches relevant lessons to the reading audience. Adios, rule Number 8. Heck the one lesson that is good in the book so far is cribbed from Spider-Man's origin. Again down with rule Number 7.
This book is a big FAIL by its own standards.
The fact that it isn't funny, but instead creepy and quite off-putting means another rule bites the dust. Bye, bye rule Number 4.
So far three rules remain: no costumes, no secret identities and no supervillains. The barest veneer of showing anything new to a comic audience. While those never get broken, they are hardly ground-breaking rules.
Kevin tries to go home to parents that are just as rude and disrespectful as he is. He throws their TV through the wall and leaves. I'm going to pass on all the subplots setup for next time with the exception of the last one. Kevin sees a way to make money using his superpower in a newspaper headline about a religious preacher. Possibly because his brain only sees this as a way to pick up women or feed his other ambitions. Anyway, he makes it back to the west coast and hooks up with a religious cult lead by a woman named Terry Winsdor.
Terry is smarter than this book, but has to be an outright liar to say things like this. Either that or the author is just lame.
And no, that dude is TOTALLY pressing charges and you are going to jail. Just bet on that, crumbcake. You will be indicted and charged and sent up the river. Plus I'm sure he isn't going to like having his jaw wired shut or whatever pain and suffering you've caused him. And Terry is no longer on my sharpest tool list because later she says he'll be "better off" after the surgery. It doesn't work like that.
This book was dumb and it broke its own rules many times. As silly and convoluted as the Marvel and DC universes can become, I'll take the worst that they can offer over a smuck who flies around all day screaming "Fuck You" to everybody.