Staff Picks (April): Apama The Undiscovered Animal Volume 2

In the second volume of the most off-beat superhero since William H. Macy donned his gear as “The Shoveler,” Apama: The Undiscovered Animal is back and better than ever.

This comic is a blast. The hero, Ilya, doesn’t have a Bat Cave. He has a cluttered apartment above a coffee shop. His Alfred Pennyworth is a talking rat with an attitude. His hairdo is somewhere between Tarzan and Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome – before the haircut. And he isn’t a billionaire. Ilya pays the bills driving a graffiti-addled ice cream truck, proving an axiom the likes of Peter Parker would have to agree with, “Crime-fighting doesn’t pay.”

Put all that together and I don’t know what you get, but it feels like R. Crumb, Terry Gilliam, and Portlandia got ran through a mixer and poured out of Ilya’s soft serve machine.  Perhaps more to the point, this has the aroma of something you found at the bottom of a trunk in the attic, a long ago artifact from a time when it was still standard practice to ink your comics with a brush and blazon your pages with dime store proclamations like “The Mane-Man Battles a New Villain!” in the best possible way.

And speaking of new villains, the baddies this time around are even stranger and more colorful than Apama’s last rogue’s gallery. A tap dancing assassin, a paranoid conspiracy theorist who turns metal to powder, and a psychedelic femme fatale who will literally blow your mind are just the beginning. The pages are jam-packed with street-level brawls with thugs and theatrical super-powered showdowns between Apama and a new batch of threats.

When you get past all the hairdos and smug talking animals and pop-locking to activate hidden superpowers, it’s the man behind the mask that gets you. Ilya is just like us. Things get hard, even dark, but he doesn’t lose that whimsy when witnessing the terrible powers of his enemies that makes him stop and think, “Wow, that is so cool!” Then, of course, he rushes in to the rescue. 

Publisher: Hero Tomorrow Comics
Item Code: APR171799
Release Date: 6/28/17
SRP: $19.99

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