Michael Troy’s Blond Squad1 is a new take on the all-something superhero team (see Martin Eden‘s Spandex for an all-queer team), this time focusing, you might have guessed it from the title, on the hair color of the protagonists. So, meet Blonder Man, a muscled hero who was rocketed from his doomed planet as an infant and raised by “warrior women who like plaid flannel”; Drain, “celebutante” London Holiday—she fell into a perfume vat and can now “suck the energy out of anything”; Richie Holiday, London’s “identical twin cousin”, who got struck by a lighting bolt while “drinking an energy drink”—his code name is Speedbump, so you can probably guess his superpower; and “Nordic beauty Inga von Svedenhaus”, who as Psight can “read minds and predict things after they happen”.
As you can understand from those descriptions, this is a tongue-in-cheek story, choke-full of superhero references (one of the full pages is a fun homage to a famous X-Men page, for example) and characters who obviously wouldn’t have a combined IQ of 100 between all of them. I must admit I prefer characters who are too clever rather than the ones who are too stupid (whatever that means about me will remain a mystery), but it’s certainly entertaining to see London saying “incognegro” when she means “incognito”. I just don’t want to think that Michael Troy didn’t invent that joke and took it from some bimbo celebrity blunder. I already despair enough in humanity.
Not much happens in the first issue, since the author takes the time to introduce his characters and the wacky world they live in—but an enemy is introduced, the well-named Black Swan, who seems to hate blonds (no, I won’t make any easy jokes here). This seems to me to be a comic for fans of talk shows and reality TV—in fact, the squad goes to Jay Leno’s show (I would have preferred to see them on Stephen Colbert, who would have skewered them, but then I’m mean).
The art style is quite solid, with characters having very big eyes and strong facial expressions. It’s certainly a modern style, post-90s Image and manga-influenced.
With its subject matter and bitchy humor, Blond Squad would already be pretty gay. But the team also boasts a gay member, who’s described as “gay as box of glitter”, with slim-boy Speedbump. It remains to be seen what Michael Troy will do with that particular aspect of his character, though I’m sure it will both funny and Oh-God-I-can’t-believe-he-did-that.
So, I’m not sure Blond Squad will improve the common wisdom about blonds, but it certainly has the potential to make lots of people laugh.