Touted as the first “All Gay” superhero team, Martin Eden‘s Spandex series is bold in its approach to storytelling, and wry in picking its subjects. The book itself is a protest to the status quo, a gay comic book might not be controversial any more, but one that doesn’t take itself seriously is a hard thing to find indeed. Eden has created a super hero team that is so proud to embrace its own corniness that it defies bland criticisms and becomes a statement of its own ilk.
Being a straight man, I was still able to identify with the themes Eden was exploring with his stories of gay super heroes, unfortunately, since I’m not passionate about the fact that it is a book about homosexual super heroes, it becomes just another bland book for me. The art is original and visually interesting throughout the whole book. Titan Books gives it their usual treatment, nice full color hard binding, with beautiful glossy pages and extra content from the author.
However, I feel the stories themselves have a limited audience. There is nothing wrong with the stories, I just don’t believe they’re the type that will create a monster crossover hit in the world of graphic novels. I still respect Eden’s passion for the movement, and he’s right, gay super hero books should get a space on the shelf right next to straight ones, even if they aren’t for me. In that respect, getting the book published is an accomplishment in itself, making it entertaining to not only its intended audience is the next step up. Some might find it oddly comical, others might not enjoy it at all. The stories are strange, and the characters are specific, but for those that connect with them, there are unique experiences to be had.