The origins portions of this issue merely combines the shorter release with more material, so readers who haven’t picked up the standalone volume can get a little history on each of the cast of the superhero team, The Almighties. As a re-read, I mostly note that the majority of The Almighties have serious personality disorders that I somehow glossed over in my first reading of their stories, but as a parody I think it’s a stroke of genius. Most superheroes seem a little off if you delve too deeply into their psyches; The Almighties just puts the problems right on the surface. The second story, "The Gimp with a Gob" (I believe that the slang here is roughly "A Fool with a Mouth on Him" for non-British readers; yes, I had to look that up since I only knew the most common meaning of "gimp," which didn’t fit the context.) tells the tale of a strange family who moved into Subterranea, an underground locale filled with calming emissions from the flora and fauna, to help their son, Wayne Winston, with his anger issues. Everything should be perfect except that a demonic sorcerer wants to harvest the magical ability in the region to fuel his evil plan, and he wants to evict Wayne and his “parents” to do so! A wacky showdown between Wayne and the sorcerer’s devilish minion ensues! I wasn’t entirely satisfied with the ending, but it was an amusing change of pace from my usual entertainment. My favorite installment in this issue was the final story, "If I Could Turn Back Time," which featured Stefanos using a time-travel cube to attempt to save Agent Phil Coleslaw during The Almighties’ last mission. If he fails, Coleslaw’s damaged brain may be put into an android body similar to Joe Cyborg (a.k.a. Barack Obama) or the flow of time may be irreparably altered! This story poked fun at many things currently relevant in pop culture, as well as continuing the subtle parody of American politics that added to the first issue. The creators don’t really take sides on the issue, so it’s easy to take it at face value.
The artwork for the two Almighties stories in The Almighties #0 continues in the same superhero comic style that worked so well in the previous installments. "The Gimp with a Gob" showcases a more cartoony style, which reflects the goofier and more surreal subject matter. Again the entire issue is in full color, and the lettering style changes as needed throughout the issue. My only slight gripe is that Joe Cyborg’s speech font was a little hard to read unless I increased the reading size substantially, but the dot matrix-looking style was perfect for an android.
I think that anyone who doesn’t take politics too seriously and can appreciate solid parodies will enjoy The Almighties #0. It’s a fun read that will give you a few laughs, even if it’s not something that will stick with you long after you close the final page.
4 References to Cold Burritos out of 5
The Almighties #0 is out now - along with a chance for newcomers to catch up on the team's debut adventure in The Almighties #1 new Limited Variant Edition – both available at www.actualitypress.com.