Old Superheroes Never Die: Cluster Fudge #1

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Cluster Fudge

Cluster is a retired superhero -- a not very nice man who went around doing good things (if by good you mean killing the bad guys). His halcyon days have darkened his mood even further as he finds himself a widower and estranged from his grown children.

The old unkillable man spends his nights tormented by his demons -- perhaps literally so, it's hard to tell if the demons are metaphorical or real -- and decides one night that he may have found a way to finally die. Taking the mask with him, he decides to commit one last act of heroism -- kill one more bad guy as an act of atonement for his years spent as a miserable human being to others -- and then pass on. He finds himself embroiled in a street protest between coloreds and black-and-whites -- a battle over the variety of television set people use, with the black-and-white purists promoting the idea that color television brainwashes the masses. It's satire of a Swiftian level and Cluster mixes right in when he's told he has to have a mask to be in the riot.

The framework over all the action is a cosmic narration, as the Silver Scribe -- an alien named George -- records the final words and deeds of Cluster, all while referencing the power inside him as "The Bookmark." In addition to being a recorder of deeds, George is also very bad at driving spaceships, something the ship's AI, Kyra, persistently reminds him about.

These two worlds are on a collision course, but before that happens there's an unexpected passing of the torch that sends shockwaves through the lives of another family, which we may or may not learn more about in the next issue.

CLUSTER FUDGE is dark satire with a little bit of sarcasm and silliness blended into it. The artwork is a little on the primitive side in places, which is what one expects from an independent book. And by primitive, I don't mean it's badly drawn but rather thickly inked, and angular in anatomy. I will say that I was very surprised at how quickly I got pulled into the story, and how much I was wanting the next chapter on reaching the end. Exceeding expectations is the hallmark of a successful comic, and creator Christopher Tamulevich has accomplished that in this issue.

CLUSTER FUDGE is a crowdfunded book currently in demand on Indiegogo.

Grade: 
4.0 / 5.0