Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Review - Super Human Resources #1 (@ActionLab)


"We had spreadsheets and everything."

Office politics and bureaucracy are two of the less entertaining aspects of any office job. They can be demoralizing in ways that really make the employee hate their work. That feeling can be amplified when the employees are superheroes and Super Human Resources #1 from Action Lab Entertainment recounts those feelings. The issue is written by Ken Marcus, illustrated by Armando Zaniker (color assists by Christian Leaf) and lettered by Brant Fowler.

Welcome back to the HR department of the world's greatest super team. Super Crises International has been infiltrated by sinister forces. And stupidity. Lots of stupidity.

What Super Human Resources #1 thrives on is humor and Marcus provides plenty of it. The Office was such a success because it glorified the mundane details of an office job in comedic fashion and Marcus runs with that theme at Super Crises International. The issue doesn't rely solely on that humor though as Marcus actually includes a pretty entertaining plot that relies on double-crosses and enemy infiltration. Juxtaposing the concept of a hostile, corporate takeover with the human resource side of things is quite brilliant and makes for a very entertaining read. Marcus' dialogue also doesn't take itself very seriously at all which lends more amusement to the book's proceedings.

The generally light tone is buoyed by Zanker's lighthearted art. Each of the characters have a superhero/villain feel to them that gives the book some credibility when it comes to dealing with such characters and Zanker differentiates them from one another well. Those characters also have enough key characteristics that the reader can easily see that they're superheroes, but Zanker does give a few of them a chance to be a little more casual on occasion. The panels are arranged in a very formal way that actually works for the concept of the issue, reflecting a certain rigidity that comes with many workplaces. And the colors are used to great effect, primarily in hiding the identities of the characters that are plotting a takeover of the company.

Super Human Resources #1 doesn't take itself too seriously and that's what makes the book work very well. The Super Crises International is facing its name sake in a super crisis and seeing it survive is what's so enjoyable. Marcus' script is fun and straightforward, relying on tried and true office stereotypes for moving the narrative forward. The artwork has a Cartoon Network vibe that Zanker relies on to keep the tone light. Super Human Resources #1 is pretty easy to read and is clearly having a good time as it goes.

Super Human Resources #1 is available now.

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