PVP (2003 Series) #16
Quick Rating: Very Good
The PVP crew takes a dip into a City of Heroes!
Writer: Scott Kurtz
Art: Scott Kurtz
Cover Art: Frank Cho
Publisher: Image Comics
Well, it’s the first issue of PVP in its new format and… well… it’s not really that different from its old format. It’s stapled along the side instead of in “landscape” fashion, but it’s still a collection of previously printed strips with a little new stuff to flesh it out, and you’ll still be turning the book sideways to read it, and it’s still really, really funny.
This issue features two related stories. First, Cole, Brent and Francis take on the persona of the Justice Eight (yeah, there are only three of them, but they had to plan for future expansion) and descend into the adventurous realm of the online game City of Heroes. Even for someone who’s never played the game, all you really need to know is that it’s a standard superhero universe and you’ll get the jokes. It lampoons superheroes and video games in equal measure and it does a very satisfying job with both.
The second story, however, is a knockout. Scott Kurtz did a series of strips reacting to the news that Marvel Comics had filed a lawsuit against the makers of the City of Heroes game because many of the players were creating characters that were blatant rip-offs of Marvel characters. Kurtz tackles both sides of the debate, poking fun at Marvel for their overreaction, and poking fun at the gamers who don’t have enough creativity to come up with characters of their own.
Kurtz’s satire is off the charts in this issue, and highly effective throughout. He makes his points without beating the reader over the head with it, but manages to do so in a clear, succinct manner. There is no doubt where he stands on the court debacle, but he’s never heavy-handed or overbearing. It goes to show just how effective PVP is.
Aaron Williams, who has provided Full Frontal Nerdity back-up strips for the past several issues, returns this issue with a new three-page P.S. 238 story. (For those of you who don’t know, P.S. 238 is Williams’s own comic book about an elementary school for superpowered children.) It’s a cute little story, in classic X-Men fashion, about the super-kids having a good ol’ game of baseball while their rather mundane parents and staff watch them. It’s a short, cute strip that will certainly inspire a few more people to check out the comic.
So while the “new” PVP really isn’t demonstrably different from the “old” PVP, it’s still pretty darn good.