Apr 03 2009
The Mysterious Minute-Men Omnibus
by Mike Aragona
The best way to describe The Mysterious Minute-Men Omnibus is that it’s a graphic novel without any graphics. Which may seem odd, but imagine a graphic novel before it has gone to storyboard and images have been added. I think you’d have something like The Mysterious Minute-Men Omnibus, which includes 3 ‘episodes’ and a collection of spotlights and specials. Although it falls into the super-hero genre, I felt the stories are intended for a more adult audience and that the Minute-Men might not be super-heroes for children. While I wouldn’t quite describe it as a page-turner, I found The Mysterious Minute-Men Omnibus to be a very enjoyable read, filled with likeable characters and plenty of chuckles. And as an added bonus, the stories are full of something I always love – plenty of pop-culture references!
The Mysterious Minute-Men are not your ordinary super-heroes. Led by Minute-Man they protect Metro-City, often risking their lives simply because they believe it’s the right thing to do. And so they can have donuts. Their secret lair is stocked with the sacred orange soda rather than weapons, and they fight off attacks from a Diabolical Chef with killer pastries and an evil Elvis impersonator.
In episode 1 – Protectors of Metro-City, we meet Minute-Man, who “has more powers than he can remember” and gets a power boost when he ingests the sacred orange soda (kinda like Popeye), and his crime-fighting partner, Orion who has the unique power of Super-Breath. When the battle against Die. T Cola, leader of the criminal cartel, and the Diabolical Chef Jacques becomes too big for them to handle alone, the Minute-Men team-up with their many super-friends who help them save the day.
In episode 2 – The Big Fat Thrill, The Minute-Men decide it’s time they had some full-time super-help and thus The Bow-Minator joins their ranks. The Bow-Minator can achieve almost anything with a bow and arrow and quickly becomes an important member and valuable asset to the team. The Bow-Minator’s real name when he’s not fighting crime? Jack Coleman. See? Pop-culture. Love that stuff! And I’m pretty sure there were plenty of references I didn’t completely get… I’d be thinking “didn’t something like this happen in a movie?” but I couldn’t figure out which movie.
Episode 3 – Battle for Metro-City was a bit longer than I would have preferred, and possibly could have been broken up into two stories, one involving a kidnapping, and a separate one involving the take-over of the city to make it a bit less daunting. But we did get to meet to new characters to the Minute-Men world and there was still plenty of laughs.
Episode 4 – Spotlights Specials: B Sides & Rarities consists of 7 short stories (3 spotlights and 4 specials) that focus more on the secondary characters, or events not involving the standard crime fighting. I really enjoyed all the short stories, although I found the last special The Devil Inside, a little dark, and not quite fitting with the tone of the rest of the book, but the author does include a note saying he realizes this but it was how he was felling at the time.
Overall The Mysterious Minute-Men Omnibus is a well written collection of stories, filled with really fun characters and plenty of zany antics. There are some instances where further editing could have made the story flow a bit smoother, and I personally would have enjoyed a bit more focus on the people behind the masks, because for me it’s those aspects that take a story from a fun read up to a page turner. But anyone who’s a fan of super-hero parodies and comics that don’t take themselves too seriously will enjoy The Mysterious Minute-Men Omnibus by Mike Aragona.
*This book was provided for review by the author via Library Thing.