Mr. Cellophane

In a location adjacent to a place in a city of some significance, what comes out of my head is plastered on the walls of this blog.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Lost in the stacks. (Opposite Forces)

I love comic books. I've been collecting for roughly the last decade. However, I'm not drawn toward traditional titles. Somehow, I gravitate toward limited run titles. These comics, more often than not, fall through the cracks and are forgotten, lost to time. This column aims to shine a light on these titles and, hopefully, make them some new fans...or draw out the old ones.

I don't have very many traditional superhero titles in my collection. (The near-complete run of "She-Hulk" from a few years ago is a noted exception.) However, many of the limited run titles I'll be writing about revolve around powers and superheroics, of which "Opposite Forces" is a good example.

Though kind of a schlub, web designer Marty Knopf loves comic books, his dog, Bopper, and his across-the-hall neighbor, lawyer Alexis Hilltop. Unfortunately, she thinks he's something of a creep. Will a chance encounter involving an alien's death ray, a pot of matzo ball soup (!) and an elevator change things? Yes. Yes, it can.

Released in 2005, "Opposite Forces" was apparently conceived as an all-ages comic, which shows through in the amusingly goofy ways that Marty and Alexis discover their powers. It also shows through in the threat that the reluctant heroes must deal with.

Now, a comic book series is only as strong as its villain, and while the villain and its defeat tie in nicely with Alexis, it's somewhat disappointing that a potentially stronger threat gets sidelined. It's implied that there is history between Captain Dynamo and the aliens. One wonders how our newly-christened heroes would fare against them.

Thankfully, the lack of a strong antagonist is mitigated by two factors. For one thing, "Opposite Forces" is pretty funny. Captain Dynamo, the unwitting donor of the superpowers, is kind of a schmuck, craving the fame that his powers afford him. The karmic payback he suffers after he's rendered powerless is a good deal of fun. Getting back to the aliens, there's some fun to be had with the names used on the planet of Tenalp. (I see what you did there.)

The other is the artwork. Creator Tom Bancroft is a veteran of Disney animation (among many credits, he served as the supervising animator for Mushu on Mulan). The artwork and designs of the characters are proudly cartoony. One could almost imagine the story being animated at several points.

Each issue concludes with notes from the author, which are quite informative. According to Bancroft, there was interest from a studio executive in turning the comic into a movie. The casting, however, left something to be desired. (Here's a hint: Shallow Hal. William Goldman was right: "Nobody knows anything.")

Grade: B+

Availability (if any): Virtually out of print, but it can be found for a decent price at Mile High Comics.



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home