COMICS: John Reviews “Super Human Resources #1” by Ken Marcus and Justin Bleep

Super Human Resources #1

Super Human Resources #1

One of the coolest things about my NYCC 2009 was getting the chance to pick up an advance copy of Ape Entertainment’s Super Human Resources #1, written by Ken Marcus and illustrated by Justin Bleep. While the easy soundbyte would be to say, “It’s like The Office with super heroes!” The truth is that Marcus and Bleep’s hilarious romp is far more than a simple parody.  It’s genuinely fun, funny and packed with moments that will make any corporate drone smirk with knowing delight.

The latest blend of superhero and real-world stories (like Damage Control and Metadocs before it,) follows new temp worker Tim’s first day on the job at Super Crises International, the headquarters of the world’s premier superhero corporation.   SCI has all the departments you would expect of a major corporation, but with a few superhero twists: Accounting has an alien princess with fire powers, PR is focus testing a wolf-man’s new costume, maintenance is conducted by a Swamp Thing-esque earth elemental, IT duties are handled by a team that includes a super-intelligent robot, and one of the HR employees has plans to destroy the entire organization.  Poor Tim has to take all of this in on day one and hit the ground running (or, more accurately, spasming and succumbing to complete paralysis.)  And you thought you worked with a bunch of freaks…

As someone who has worked in some version of a corporate environment for several years now, I can easily relate to many of the best jokes in Super Human Resources.  I know I would have loved to tell callers “Zombor will suck your mammal-brain through a straw like it is juice box” when I was a receptionist!  But the fun doesn’t stop at the mostly-rehabilitated zombie receptionist.  I chuckled at the maintenance elemental’s predilection for a certain (illegal) type of plant life, and I laughed out loud at the time-traveler’s revelation that the company’s 401(k) program was going to barely be worth anything in the future.  There are too many fantastic quotes for me to recount them all here, but I’ll treat you to a particular gem spouted by the copy machine: “MUST DESTROY ALL LIFE.  THEN COLLATE.” I might be worried that Marcus and Bleep would eventually run out of jokes if this were to be an ongoing series, but since they are keeping it constrained to a 4-issue miniseries everything should remain as fresh and clever as #1.

Justin Bleep’s art style is amusingly cartoonish, and perhaps even a bit … expressionistic?  I hope I’m using that word correctly.  In any case, more emphasis is put on having characters achieve the perfect expression of their thoughts than on actual facial proportions or anatomy.  As a result, readers can identify perfectly with Tim’s shock and confusion throughout the issue.  Even though I’m physically incapable of making some of those faces, I’m definitely thinking them in my head!  The inks and colors are so clean and sharp that they could not possibly have been achieved without judicious use of Photoshop, which leaves me to wonder how much of the book was ever put to paper.  It fits with the title’s modern feel, however, so some technological changes can be for the better.

If you enjoy workplace humor like Dilbert or The Office, there is plenty here to make you laugh.  If you also read superhero stories, it’s even funnier!  Super Human Resources is the perfect blend of comic escapism and slice-of-life comedy, and a welcome treat after a hard day’s work.

Hey, they have a trailer!  Hopefully (if the link works) it should show up below!

Super Human Resources from Ken Marcus on Vimeo.


One Response

  1. Thanks for the awesome review, John. Appreciate the kind words.

    People can order SHR with their local comic book store right now.


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