Written by Ken Marcus
Art by Armando Zanker
Published by Action Labs
Review by Gregory Brothers
When Cyborg was asked to join the Justice League how did they decide his salary? When Hal Jordan became Parallax was that covered under his health insurance? How many weeks paid vacation does the average superhero get? If these are questions that you’ve ever asked yourself while reading your weekly comics then Super Human Resources II might be right up your alley.
As a newcomer to the series, I found the book easy to pick up and jump into without any prior knowledge of what happened in Volume I. We continue to follow Tim as he becomes more comfortable in his HR job at the world’s greatest super team. Besides dealing with an attempted hostile takeover by villains, the HR department has to answer mundane questions such as how to set up direct deposit, what’s included in the HSA, and most importantly: whether legal should be contacted when a zombie wears only a thong to work for casual Friday on a Tuesday.
There’s traditional superhero action in here too. A team of villains infiltrates Super Crises International headquarters as they try to shut down both SCI and the world’s greatest super team at the same time. The incompetence of the team of super villains and the shadowy group behind them creates some great comedy spots including both plays on words and questions about things that happen in every other comic. One example is when one of the shadowy figures in the background is decapitated. He spends the rest of the series questioning how he did not die and then how he is going to explain being headless to his wife and neighbours during game night.
Tim of course is the focus of the main part of the series as the super villains have a plan on how to eliminate him from being a thorn in their side and interfering in their ultimate plan. While trying to escape their evil plan, Tim also has to deal with the teenage daughter of The Devastator, which leads to plenty of hilarity. A couple of other characters get involved throughout Super Human Resources adding depth to the ensemble. Plasmarella is dealing with an unexpected visit from her parents who rule a far off land. Roger has become convinced he is a superhero, despite the fact that he is really just an accountant in the Finance Department.
The art throughout Super Human Resources is bright and colourful. The characters all have the over the top movements and reactions that you would expect in a comedy series like this. The style reminded me a lot of the old Ren & Stimpy or Dexter’s Laboratory cartoons from the 1990s. Some of the layouts of the speech bubbles were placed oddly in some panels, so some re-reading took place here and there, but not enough to take away from how much I enjoyed the story.
Buy It! This book is just plain fun. I unfortunately never read the first volume of Super Human Resources. Still, I didn’t feel totally lost reading Volume II. You can pick up which existing heroes the characters in the book are based on very quickly. Wombat, Zeus, and Bog as just a few examples. I found myself smiling and chuckling throughout the comic at several of the jokes, which is always a good sign.
If I have one complaint, it would be that I think it would have fun to see a few more of the mundane things that an HR department might have to deal with. Perhaps a scene with Wombat explaining how having a teenage sidekick out past midnight on a school night is a violation of child labour laws? Maybe later volumes will explore these ideas. If you are looking for a comic that looks at the lighter side of superheroics and does not take itself too seriously while constantly keeping you laughing this is the book for you.