Bad guys as it turns out, don’t actually have all the fun. In fact, in the superhero community, if you’re way, way down the pecking order, being a supervillain is about as much fun as running out of gas in the middle of the Mojave Desert when you’re the designated driver ferrying a bunch of tequila sodden insurance salesmen home after the company they worked from went bust because the CEO emptied the bank accounts and ran off to live in Belize with his twenty something mistress. In other words, it’s not a whole bunch of fun when you’re trying to make a living holding up second rate savings and loans and hoping that you don’t end up in a body cast courtesy of a rookie superhero and that you can actually make it home for dinner instead of being forced to take an extended vacation in the state pen.
That’s where our “heroes” find themselves at the beginning of Minor Threats, doing what they do content in the knowledge that things can’t worse. Until the beloved sidekick of a masked midnight vigilante is murdered and the superhero community declares that it’s open season on all villains until the murderer is either turned over or strung up by his buster browns. With their everyday lives rapidly sliding down misfortune mountain, our ragtag bunch of ne-er do wells and over the hill miscreants realise that the only way they’ll ever experience any sort of normality ever again, is if they do the unthinkable, find the killer themselves and turn one of their own over to the chisel jawed guardians of all that is right and true.
And that dear reader is exactly what the Minor Threats set out to do in Oswalt and Blum’s deliciously dark and morbidly funny tale that plays with and subverts every rule in the superhero play book and flips tried, tested and true mythology on its head in one of the most outrageously entertaining books I’ve read this or any other year. I’m a sucker for this book, and if Oswalt and Blum hadn’t grabbed me by the lapels and made a believer out of me with their characters and devilishly detailed world building, then Scott Hepburn and Ian Herring’s eye popping artwork would have effortlessly seduced me and dragged me straight into its pages, no questions asked, no quretr given and no mercy expected. Read it before Apple TV or Netflix buy the rights to it and make Oswalt and Blum rich beyond their wildest dreams and turn it into the must see show of 2025*. Read it before it becomes the next big thing, so that you can tell all of your friends that you were into Minor Threats before the Stranger Things crew made it mainstream cool… Tim Cundle
*If the suits cough up and give the WGA and SAG what they deserve and have earned a thousand times over.