New Orleans doesn’t seem to get a fair shake at its own branded superheroes. Sure, Marvel gives us the card-throwing X-Man Gambit and more obscure metahumans like Monica Rambeau. However, traditionally folks like Gambit are a little over the top, mon ami.
So in honor of New Comic Day (always on Wednesdays), we’re peering into local comic shops to see what they have to offer for homegrown super-powered people.
What caught our eye this week: Taffy Jack
In his first “stretchtastic” issue (released in honor of New Orleans’ 300th anniversary), nostalgia, fun and New Orleans iconography play on local heart strings and easily stretch your mouth into a smile.
The art from Greg Woronchak feels very Steve Ditko-esque with thick lines, pop art and overall clean and simple illustrations. Despite some muted colors from the background, the characters pop on the pages and emote clearly with tried and true throwback exclamation lines, swoosh movements and onomatopoeias that are laid out nicely on the page.
The book opens with a call out to Hubig’s … err, I mean “Tubig’s” pies thwarting a robbery in a TV commercial. The main character Roman is baptized with powers born of some strange medicine that combined with a mule-drawn Roman Can— “Chewy Candy” cart. Before we know it, Taffy Jack is here to thwart evil-doers in the Crescent City.
It’s a simple but fun story to pick up. While no narration boxes to fill you in on the world that we see, the dialogue explains everything and the pace holds up with every turn. Jack’s powers are what you would expect from a taffy-imbued person. He stretches, much like Marvel’s Mr. Fantastic of the “Fantastic Four.” Except here, creator Everette Hebert has created a new use to help keep Roman’s identity secret in a very “Shazam!” way.
We’re not spoiling any of Taffy Jack’s adventures in this first issue, but Hebert is building his own universe. The metahumans, or super-powered folks, are called Lanyaps and we meet a more brooding-looking figure at the end of book one.
The nuts and bolts: “Taffy Jack” is simple, silly fun that doesn’t stretch the imagination but can stretch a smile across your face. The art is more simple with its line work and appears to draw inspiration from the Golden Age of comics with some Silver Age influences.
Price: With a sticker price of $4.99, this book falls in line with most comic prices of the day.
We found “Taffy Jack” on the stands of Crescent City Comics on Calhoun Street. For other nerdy NOLA things, check out where you can nerd out here.