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cover

Spandex


First issue of a 40-page, self-published comic, 2009.

Category: fantasy, lesbian, transgender.

Author(s): Martin Eden.
Website: http://spandexcomic.com/.

The team

Gay super-heroes aren't rare anymore, at least in non-mainstream comics. But thanks to author Martin Eden, we can add a new series to Pride High and So Super Duper: Spandex showcases an all-queer group of heroes in a British setting, and it seems the author has interesting plans for his characters.

The Spandex team is comprised of Liberty, Diva, Glitter, Mr Muscles, Butch and Prowler: two lesbians, one transvestite man and three gay guys. With names like that, the subtle balance between comedy and adventure that the author seems to be going for is already obvious.
I hadn't read anything else by Eden yet, though I'd been aware of his self-published O-Men series. This introduction, which sees the team fight against a 50-foot lesbian bent on destroying Brighton and its famous piers, was a lot of fun, playing with some gay and super-hero clichés in a convincing way. The personal lives of the main characters are also shown in a shorter story: some live alone, some don't, some seem happy, some less so. But it's also obvious Eden has created complete backgrounds for his characters, and doesn't shy away from being cruel to them, as the "death in the family" motif rears its head at the end of this first issue.

Martin Eden's art might not be as slick as some mainstream artists', but it has a lot of personality, and the storytelling is solid. In my opinion, his style is a good example of what indie comics can offer to their readers. No need to try and look like something out of Marvel or DC, but rather, show why the creator feels the need to show everybody the contents of his own imagination, instead of something created only to fuel the corporate machine (which doesn't mean I can't enjoy Marvel or DC super-hero comics, only that I don't expect the same thing from them).

Apart from the two stories, there are also some fun extras in this issue, such as commentaries and other goodies (a parody of a Watchmen ad is especially funny and cute). This comic really is a complete package.
Spandex # 1 is the first part of what will eventually become a full-length graphic novel. You can buy a copy (paper or PDF) from the author.

Fighting the giant lesbian
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