The Book: Welcome to Spandex – super-heroes with a difference! From the creator of The O Men (www.comix.org.uk/theomen), Spandex is a brand new super-drama with a very unique spin. And even if you have heard what it’s about, it’s really not what you might expect – trust me…
The Review: First, a quick apology: I’m painfully aware I have been sent a number of books for review lately and the creators have yet to get a full review. At present I’m juggling work for ROK Comics and Titan Books full time during the week (and anyone in publishing will know how ‘full time’ extends to ‘every waking hour’ if you’re not careful), so downthetubes, which is put together in my spare time, unpaid, has had to take a bit of a back seat.
Right, now the excuses are out of the way, on with bigging up Spandex – because it deserves it.
Featuring an all-gay superhero team, this sexy mature readers-only dramedy follows the adventures of Liberty (Britain’s newest transvestite superhero), Diva (best described as a lesbian Wonder Woman), Prowler (who can absorb the skills of gay people), Glitter (a male Dazzler), Indigo (a beautiful French teleporter), Mr Muscles and Butch (strong twins). Issue one, ‘The Attack of the 50 Foot Lesbian’, is a 40-page beastie available as a print comic and PDF, introducing the team and their Brighton headquarters as they do indeed, battle a 50 Foot Lesbian, and next year will see the release of a 120-page Spandex graphic novel, featuring more adventures with the team. In between these, ‘Spandex Shorts’ will be released – mini-comics spotlighting various characters.
This is a book with all the plotting and scripting style that Martin honed to near perfection in The O Men. He has a real gift for superhero group dynamics and his new team of gay superheroes, fighting evil and their own personal demons, continues his high standards. Art-wise, watch out for visual gags and a clear knowledge of Brighton and its populace, delivering a fun adventure yarn with just the right amount of brooding menace as the story develops and you realize not everything is as it appears.
Martin ‘s O-Men was a superb riff on superhero group dynamics, but Spandex takes his usual skilled scripting to an entirely new level. This first issue shows huge promise for the series and I look forward to reading more.
• Official web site: www.spandexcomic.com
“Whereas many contemporary comic book heroes are dark and brooding, the protagonists of Spandex are real people who just happen to have superpowers. There are dark ideas covered, but they’re mixed with a winning humour, because life isn’t always as oppressive and difficult as some comic creators would have us believe… Thought provoking, funny and highly original.”
“Martin describes Spandex as a superhero strip the likes of which you’ll never have seen before and he’s right. In it he explores the sexual dynamics between the cast and introduces some of the team’s main villains, including as a 50′ tall lesbian. Great strips, colourfully illustrated with some fun Smash Hits magazine styled extras and fantastic value for money; what more could you want?”