Two books come out today and I thought it was worth reviewing them. Together. One is Mickey Mouse & Friends, the first issue to be licensed and published by Boom! Studios, taken from Gemstone Publishing who previously held the licence.
And the other is Herogasm, the even more explicit that the already rather explicit The Boys sex’n'superhero’n'violence series from Dynamite that DC/Wildstorm let go. So how do they compare?
Both comics have a story about a competition. In one Mickey, a novice sorcerer, has to find a way to compete in the sorcery tournament in order to recover the magic gem that he lost. In Herogasm, it’s the awards night, the “Supies”. Mickey stars the eponymous hero and although we see the regular cast take roles, Goofy, Donald and more, it’s clearly the Mouse’s book more than it is his Friends’. Herogasm has a greater ensemble cast, with no central character. The action shifts from The Boys to the Heroes, to law enforcement agents and a conversation in a bar.
Possibly in deference to its review stablemate, Herogasm is a much more subdued than in previous episodes. There are no sex scenes at all, let alone orgies. This is a pause, possibly waiting for something to explode in the next issue. Mickey & Friends also has no sex scenes, though Donald does jump into Goofy’s pocket briefly in quite a suggestive fashion. There are C-bombs in both issues however, though in Mickey & Friends, that C stands for crystal. And what a lot of fuss this missing crystal causes!
In Herogasm, not much is happening, a speech is not made in full, an entrapment is not carried out, no one fights, there is rarely anything more that grumbles and muttering from the sidelines. But it’s knitted together, creating a general mood of intensity and foreboding. Motivations are questioned, plots are hidden, there’s so much under the surface. But for now, until the next and final issue, that is where they stay.
In Mickey & Friends, lots happens. This is not an everyone-stands-around-a-table-and-talk-for-six pages comic. We have an introduction to magic, a con trick, a village banishment, a journey to a new city, a championship and a gathering of new friends against old enemies. But even here there are dark scenes behind the curtain with mysterious and dangerous unseen forces pulling Mickey’s strings.
Herogasm has far more brooding, intense danger and disaster waiting around the corner. But Mickey Mouse & Friends has a walking turnip.
Mickey Mouse & Friends #296 by Stefano Ambrosio, Lorenzo Patravicchio, Roberta Santillo and Marco Giglioni is published by Boom!. Herogasm #5 by Garth Ennis and John Mcrea is published by Dynamite. Both titles are available from today, so confuse comic shop staff by buying both…