“Megalopolis is a virtually crime-free city. That’s great for the citizens of Megalopolis, but not for its superheroes. Now superheroes must compete against each other for work and no one is more affected by this plight than The Justice Purveyors. Led by Electrolyte, The Justice Purveyors primary stock and trade has been chasing reckless jaywalkers, dealing with drunk and disorderlies, scofflaws and general cases of moral turpitude”.
Such is the premise of “The Misadventures Of Electrolyte and The Justice Purveyors”, the first graphic novel by writer Patrick Reilly and artist Butch Mapa. Colors come from Mitch Claussen with letters by Wilson. I met Patrick at the NY Comic Con back in 2010 and he was kind enough to put a copy of the first issue in my hands but at the time I was not yet mapped out on how I wanted to do some comic book overviews. The site would get more into that when DC Comics launched their “The New 52” initiative in the last part of 2011 and this leads me into finally getting some comments out about the first two issues of the title. Read on.
Issue One Overview: In the first issue we meet Electrolyte and his newly christened “Justice Purveyors” who are an interesting combination of individuals with unique powers and abilities. The team features Scabie, The Sentence Finisher and The Capitalist who are all united by Electrolyte. Given that their combined powers are turning to the size of an insect, completing casual conversation sentences, paying off criminals to deter them from crime and curing hangovers or babies of their diarrhea, you can see that they are a “not so fantastic” four. They are but a small sample of the many protectors that the city of Megalopolis has in their corner but since it’s a city of no real crime, they have a lot of time of their hands and are competing for heroic tasks in order to keep busy. Much like your musicians of today, the merry band of heroes moonlights by day doing other things. Our own Electrolyte works in a hospital where his minor power is quite useful.
The team also has to contend with The Perfect Four (Mr. Perfect, Muscle Head, Sparkler and Zepher) who are quite a powerful bunch and honestly also possess super levels of arrogance thanks to their abilities. Well, to be honest, Sparkler doesn’t seem all that bad. The story finds Electrolyte’s team in direct competition for a contract with a major corporation and actually winning the job despite The Perfect Four being the best group for the job. I won’t ruin the rationale behind this but will leave it as sometimes these big corporations have secret agendas and are up to insidious doings. Can you imagine that? Epic battles ensue along with equally interesting revelations and after the good fight had been fought we pick up with our characters lives one full year later. The end.
Thoughts: Thoughts: The title is a comedic one with clever dialogue and of course your pre-requisite super hero action. I liked it for the most part since it reminded me a little bit of “The Inferior Five” and “Legion Of Substitute Heroes” who long time comics readers might recall as being teams of 15th Class protectors. We get a lot of this kind of feel from “Electrolyte and The Justice Purveyors” who really have the best intentions at heart but have a hard time being taken serious at it. Electrolyte is a bit of a laughing stock while Scabie is on the disgusting side but tries to convince you otherwise. We see a lot of Electrolyte’s secret identity life and apparently his heroic past time is the world’s worst kept secret. He also has an apparent crush on Sparkler from The Perfect Four but you will have to read the issue to see where that possibility goes. I enjoyed the artwork from Butch Mapa and while it reminds me of someone, I cannot place who right at this moment. The storyline moves steadily and did keep my interest. The jokes were clever and sometimes on the sarcastic dry side which worked between the characters interactions. I think it’s also important to mention that the first issue is 48 pages thick and since this is an independent release there are no ads to worry about. Nothing wastes space here and this is all art and story. Overall the characters have some potential because it is an amusing premise. Just what do the heroes do with their time when there is little crime to deal with.
Issue Two Overview: The second issue continues around the same future time where our debut issue left off. Sparkler and Electrolyte are an official couple and they have a child together. They also seem to have a guest resident with Scabie who is beginning to get on Electrolyte’s last nerve. The team feels it needs to work on itself and comes to the conclusion that they need a Life Coach of some kind. Their first pick was a popular television one but when they meet him he is nothing more than a hype man for a multi-level marketing scheme. He tries to sign the group onto his team to put him higher on the earning platform but they will not go for it. They then meet up with the Purple Claw who does seem legit at first but really puts the team though ridiculous and demeaning tasks in order to help build their esteem. All of these activities are being done for insidious reasons as the Purple Claw wants to lead the team and the learning’s are being used for the benefit of a new super villain in Electrolyte’s rogue’s gallery, the nefarious Cottonmouth. Her powers are to dry everything up so she essentially amounts to the other side of Electrolyte’s coin. The story ends in a cliffhanger and will surely make issue #3 a fun read.
Thoughts: I enjoyed reading this one and finding more characters being introduced to the Electrolyte mythos. The super heroes of Megalopolis all seem to convene at a local bar to unwind and I found this funny. While at the bar we find Muscle Head of The Perfect 4 coming off like that idiot “The Situation” from the Jersey Shore program as well and being shut down. I wonder if the association was planned by Reilly when he penned the tales. The new super villain holds some promise but it’s too soon to say what kind of trouble she will be for the hero. I liked how this ended in the cliffhanger because it keeps you excited about the story and anxious to find out what is going to happen next. After the tale has been told there is a great interview with Patrick Reilly who outlines just how the book and characters came together. I had to say that I liked reading this as well and recommend that you take the time and do that yourself.
I’ll get to the third and fourth issues next week so please stay tuned. If you are in a rush or something you can always click their official website to see what else is going on.
As an added treat here are a couple of shots from the 2010 Comic Con of Electrolyte’s creator Patrick Reilly and the one and only Sparkler from the “Electrolyte and The Justice Purveyors” comic. Enjoy.
Official Website: http://www.thejusticepurveyors.com/
The link below was originally to a free Kindle copy of the title but that has changed to a reasonably priced pay per edition. I’ve appended this link to send you to the right place.