Could This Be The Hottest Marvel Book Of The Year? Superior Kapow Special #1

Today sees the Superior Kapow World Record Special #1, published by Marvel, arrive on comic book shelves. If you’re lucky.

Created at the Kapow Comic Convention earlier in the year, its aim was to tell a Superior story with as many people as possible, raise money for charity and break a couple of world records in the process.

I’m not sure how the Most Contributors To A Comic Book record was arrived at – I’m sure Mark Millar himself has been involved in comics with more creators, such as those DC Eight Page books, a particularly busy issue of 2000AD or, more specifically, the Comic Relief Comic from twenty years ago.

But this comic does have a bunch of creators involved, including Superior creators Millar and Yu, Dave Gibbons, John Romita Jr, Frank Quitely, Kiron Gillen, Paul Cornell, Olivier Coipel, David LaFuente, Brendan McCarthy, Chris Weston, Doug Brauthwaite, David Lloyd, Jock, David Hine, Shaky Kane, Adi Granov and so many more. Indeed, there are also a number of fans who have drawn panels – and clearly are not yet ready for professional publication. But it doesn’t really matter, it all makes for a tone that implies hurriedness, speed, and a desire to get the comic done, completed in a matter of hours and gaining its second World Record, the Fastest Production Of A Comic Book.

Getting sign off for all those names, I understand, was a little difficult , as it wasn’t arranged on the day. And tracking down some of the contributors, especially the fans, wasn’t easy. And bizarrely, the decision to print only 10,000 copies, despite the amount of orders, means that all comic stores have been allocated on this comic and it will be hard to find for those who want a copy. This is bound to go up in value from the cover price of $2.99 as a result. At some point in the next couple of years, it is very possible there will be a Superior movie, with some involvement by Matthew Vaughn, based on the Mark Millar/Leinil Yu wish fulfillment Superman-analogue movie involving heaven and hell. And this will be the rarest Superior comic book.

But all those tens of dollars changing hands won’t be going to the Yorkhill Children’s Foundation, where as a print run that relected shop orders would have raised more money. I can’t see the justification for that, whoever’s decision that was.

The comic itself is rather ephemeral, twenty pages long, but still too many for the story being told. As a comic story, it fails. But where it succeeds is taking all these art styles and jamming them together, professional or amateur, and that is a real life affirming experience, a feeling of all being in it together, and bringing a smile. The very lack of consistency that prevents this comic being a good read, panel by panel, embodies it with a feeling of well being that’s hard to fake. And then slaps you with a charity message right at the money shot.

And an advert for next year’s Kapow Convention, obviously, he’s not an idiot.

Kapow! World Record Special #1 is published today by Marvel, $2.99, 20 pages.

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