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Anti-Hero, why have you done this? For a couple of issues there, I was all about this comic. I thought it was an entertaining and original mash up of two major archetypes: the career criminal meets the all-too virtuous superhero. In fact, I found this to be the most eventful issue yet. I’m actually intrigued by the direction that the primary characters are going in. That might have contributed to my gut-wrenching surprise—what nearly made me vomit on my tablet—when I saw how low the creative team chose to sink in Issue #4.
I’m referring to War Chest, the giant breasted, mostly exposed, pink haired lady-hero. “Look, I don’t want to hit a woman…” excretes Paragon, bullshit dribbling down his chin. Seriously, what the hell is this? There should exist a database of narrative choices that haven’t been interesting, funny, cool, or successful for a hundred years, and Anti-Hero’s creative team should be required to refer to it from here on out. For those of you who might have missed this, her name is “War Chest”—chest as in breasts, get it? Somebody call National Lampoons, I think we have another straight to DVD disaster on our hands.
Story writing 101: alienating half of your audience with high school age humor is bad writing. “My eyes are up here,” War Chest tells Rockstar—also a stupid name—as he stares at her cleavage. We get it already, she’s mostly nude and it makes Jay Faerber blush. I don’t see any other explanation for this waste of time. War Chest is a stupid and thoughtless character. Her anatomy is a punch line to a joke. Between the two quotes I already provided, microcosms for her entire presence in the story, she isn’t taken seriously and it’s exceedingly obvious that the writers have no intention of taking her seriously.
In turn, I will no longer be taking Anti-Hero seriously. However, I will be fair handed and point out the positives. The plot is developing nicely. Callum isn’t as smooth as we all might have thought, and Paragon is tangled up in the mess he made. The issue ended on an interesting note. Paragon has raised the suspicion of his superhero peers, and now he must save his family. Although, at this point, I was hoping his family would become more than just collateral, a tool for creating drama. Increasingly, I’m finding that that might be a bit too much to ask for. However, I enjoyed the frequent switch between the point of view of Paragon and Callum, as both of their stories have taken unexpected turns.
Then again, how can we overlook War Chest? Sure, I’m offended. I’ll admit that much. But that’s beside the point. Political correctness aside, who gave this thing the okay for publication? Perhaps most of my disgust stems from the fact that it’s terrible and overused writing. It has gone well beyond being cliché into the realm of, “you have got to be kidding me.” Shame on you Jay Faerber, Nate Stockman, Paul Little, Charles Pitchett, Tim Daniel, and any uncredited creatives who might have had something to do with this.
So where do we go from here? Giggling at boob jokes ended when I graduated from middle school so my disappointment about this is substantial. The reality of the matter is, that there’s a lot out there to read, a lot of good and worthy stuff, and there’s only twenty-four hours in a day—see what I’m getting at? I’ve got to jump ship before the Atomic Bottom and Thunder Thighs show up. The sacrifice is that I’ll never know if Paragon gets more comfortable with hitting women, and I think I can live with that.