O.M.F.G. Part 2 – Big Secret Crisis
How do you follow the comic of the year?
Those of us that are familiar with the glorious comic book goodness that is Spandex will have been waiting with no small measure of anticipation for this, the second part of the four chapter saga that is O.M.F.G. For those that haven’t read either Chapter One of this saga or any of the three earlier Spandex issues, then put down whatever mainstream comic it was that you were planning on buying this week and buy some Spandex instead. You will not be disappointed.
It is with no exaggeration when I say that the last issue of Spandex was the best comic I have read this year. There have been some quite superb indies out there, Sugar Glider, 2, The Abnormals, The Standard 1 and 2 all vying for the title of comic of the year and all making very, very strong cases, but Spandex with a breathtaking issue 4 is the present.
With so many comics being written to what seems more and more like a marketing agenda it’s easy to forget how good comics in their purest form can be. Titles like the four mentioned above, created for the pleasure of telling good stories for their own sake remind us that not every comic these days has one eye on headline grabbing gimmicks, movie adaptations and lucrative merchandising spin off.
Spandex 4 was a prime example of the bravura that comes from having no editorial interference. While that is not always a good thing, it certainly was here as Issue four shoehorned more twist, turns and spills than DC have managed in all of their new 52 issues combined.
So, how do you follow the comic book event of the year? Martin Eden does what he has always done with his rainbow warrior tales; he doesn’t try to top it by producing more of the same. Instead he does something different. Rather than layer shock on top of surprise, Martin this time opens up and lets us experience the wider Spandex universe.
We get to see the history of the group, with hints of previous human drama and tragedy involved. There are cameos for the other heroes that inhabit the Martin Eden universe too as the O Team and the J Team get involved. All of this is underpinned by a genuinely moving origins story as we find out how team leader Liberty became the person, and the hero that they are. The heart of Spandex still beats as strongly and as movingly as ever.
This is done with all of the colour and invention and unashamed joy that we’ve come to expect from Spandex. One of the new heroes, the splendid Critique, a hero who can hurt you with her words, is someone that could only exist in Spandex, but you don’t half wish that she also existed in the mainstream. What she would have to say to the unfeasibly attired Starfire would be worth whatever they charged for it!
I never like to give away too much plot in reviews, preferring instead to go for an overview of the comic and a recommendation where appropriate leaving the reader free to discover the comic for themselves. Trust me, with Spandex there is so much to discover. While it’s cool to be in the know about Spandex there is a part of me that envies someone getting to read any of it for the first time.
We’ve come to expect a lot from a Martin Eden comic and that’s his own fault for setting the bar so high. He is our Pedro Almodavar – a comics creator ploughing a unique furrow that manages to be both alternative and mainstream at the same time, producing material with a style and chutzpah that allows him to pull off things that just about no other creator could.
Spandex 5 delivers, once again, with excitement, twists, turns, surprises and sheer unadulterated joy that we Spandex fans have come to expect. All that and a killer ending that will leave you quite literally desperate for more.
One day I may have to write that an issue hasn’t quite hit the heights of previous stories, not today though and not issue 5. Every bit as good as I hoped for.
Spandex Issue 5 is available from http://spandexcomic.wordpress.com/
Issue 5 comes with a free trading card and a free manga style mini comic