Pullbox Reviews: CaptainZ – Odd… and oddly… entertaining

  • CaptainZ
  • Europe Comics
  • Originally published in French by Le Lombard as Les Captainz
  • Written by Olivier Texier & Yoann
    • English translation by Edward Gauvin
  • Art by Yoann
  • Colors by Marie Huet & Laurence Croix
  • Letters by Cromatik Ltd
  • Available now!

Monsters are popping up all over, wreaking wild havoc on Earth! Captain Woof, a dog from another dimension, is here to find out what’s been weakening the walls between parallel universes and letting these creatures through. Helping him are Captain Mysterioso, a teen reassembled by aliens to be invulnerable and shoot destructo-rays; Captain Bummer, a woman with the power to push anyone to suicide; and Captain Smooch, a playboy that one kiss can turn into a raging beast. Throw in Captain Megahertz, a man who can travel along any electrical frequency, and you’ve got the Captainz! A rollicking love letter to superhero comics.

Captain Mysterioso– killed in a horrific accident when his bike collided with a flying saucer- had his broken body encapsulated in a strange suit of alien origin. Now this teenaged hero has the powers of flight, energy beams, & invulnerability…

Captain Bummer– able to project feelings of depression & hopelessness on anyone around her- is a young woman trying to come to grips with her abilities as a rash of inexplicable suicides follows in her wake…

Captain Smooch– the irresistible billionaire playboy cursed to avoid even the most modest of kisses lest he be transformed into a rampaging monster- finds himself entangled with an unlikely group of would be heroes, rather than continue his existence alone and on the run…

Captain Woof– the super intelligent canine from an alternate reality- is the only chance our world has to combat an outbreak of destructive monster attacks. He struggles to unite a group of individuals in the hopes of forging them into a team…

They are… The CaptainZ!

So, with that other group of uniquely talented and powerful individuals busy saving the world from killer androids and finger snapping titans, our next to best hope lies in the hands of these guys? Y’know… it’s so outrageously left of center that it just might work.

Full disclosure, if you’re looking for a serious foray into the world of Earth’s mightiest heroes and the super heroics that might follow, you’re gonna want to move along. However, if you’re interested in something a little bit… different… you just might want to take a look at something from across the Pond as the folks from Europe Comics once again send something our way that rests just on the far side of strange.

French writers Olivier Texier and Yoann have brought together a super group unlike pretty much anything else you’re likely to see out there, unless you’re looking through the pages of Mad Magazine (moment of silence, please). While the team of Captains Mysterioso, Bummer, Smooch, & Woof could seem legitimate at first glance (we did see Squirrel Girl defeat Doctor Doom), lemme tell ya these people are a mess… beautifully and hilariously so. Be warned, however. Coming from a land with fewer hang-ups than we may enjoy here in the States, the world of CaptainZ is often raucous, occasionally lewd, and to certain sensibilities a bit on the offensive side. With that in mind, however, I have to say that Texier & Yoann have infused their story with enough wit and charm to win over all but the most stubbornly and liberally conservative (I know what I said).

The art of CaptainZ leans heavily toward the chaotic, being very reminiscent of the world of Sergio Aragones. There’s a LOT going on in those backgrounds, and most of it is very much worth the time it takes to absorb it all. Yoann makes it all work, from the disturbingly outlandish, to the comfortably mundane, and he does it without letting his action scenes suffer. As odd as the characters might be, this is still very much a superhero comicbook, and as such there are just some standards that have to be maintained. Yornn brings a lot of conceptually conflicting elements together without short changing any of them. Fleshed out with colors artfully rendered by Marie Huet & Laurence Croix, CaptainZ is a book that could be held side by side with any other superhero title on the market.

There are very obvious differences to be found in CaptainZ, in its subtext and most notably its use of language, which can be attributed to its origins. Some things that come through the translation (courtesy of Edward Gauvin) that shouldn’t be overcome. It’s exactly those differences which, along with the work of the entire creative team, set the book apart from the rest. After all, there are a LOT of superhero team books out there… But I’m pretty sure that you’re only gonna find one CaptainZ.

Final Score: a uniquely irreverent 10+

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Updated: October 11, 2019 — 10:28 am

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