Shame Itself #1A comic review article by: Jamil Scalese
I consider one of the most key traits of a likeable person to be their ability to be self-deprecating. Actually, I think this even more important for an aspiring comedian. People are more likely to laugh with you when they realize you aren't a pompous jerk. I learned that the hard way.
From one type of comic to another, hilarious and humility mixed to success in Marvel's satiric one-shot Shame Itself, a collection of rising talents and their various lampoons of the major company. The most recognizable of the creators is probably Wyatt Cenac, writer and correspondent on the almost always genius The Daily Show, but the roster is stocked full of long time comedy writers from around the entertainment industry. I had no idea what to expect from this type of book. As a regular buyer of Deadpool, I have been a little worried on what Marvel considers funny, and overall, in this age of serious sequential storytelling humor in comics have dwindled off to the occasional one-liner or comically awkward scenario. I will honestly say I was surprised that Shame Itself had me chuckling to the point that I started to look like a bit of a loon at the office.
The issue features about different 11 stories, ranging from a straightforward narrative about Reed Richard and Ben Grimm's college reunion to a series of one-pagers questioning the nature of the Marvel Universe. I'm normally all for spoiling the fun for you with my reviews, but I will stay away from detailing too many of the short stories because the absurdity, and appropriateness, of the pieces are bound to make you smile, if not guffaw. The absolute gem of the comic is a flowchart on how to create a major crossover event by Elliot Kalan (also a writer on The Daily Show) and Jacob Chabot (X-Babies). It might be one of the savviest things I've read from the publisher, and it does not hold back in the slightest. As Kalan jokes in his bio on the last page, the two-page spread might seal his fate in working in comics again, but man, what a way to go out.
The read had a few notable misses, like a prose story about the X-Men by Michael Kupperman, and a bit of a downer piece in a knock-off of a woman's fashion magazine. However, with any anthology there will always be stars that shine harder than others, and nothing was remarkably bad.
I'm not so much reviewing this as I am praising it, huh? Well, so be it! I loved this and it was well worth my $3.99. I want this type of thing to be an regular release for Marvel. You hear me Quesada? Huh? Huh? Yeah, that's what I thought.
And get Elliot Kalan on a Deadpool comic!
Jamil Scalese is just like you -- an avid comics fan and lover of sequential art. Residing in Pittsburgh, PA, he is an unapologetic Deadpool fan, lover of the Food Network and proud member of Steelers Nation.