What do you get when you mix superheroes with luchadors? It’s Mucho Man! Found in Crescent City Comics in New Orleans, this locally-created comic is a fun romp that is both comfortably familiar and engagingly unique.
Mucho Man is about a world in which there is a UN for “mega-heroes,” a.k.a. the UM, and it follows the lives (and deaths) of some of the country representatives, including Magnanimous, El Pistolero, and the titular Mucho Man. It helpfully provides some short bios of certain characters of interest right at the beginning, as well as a brief description of the UM:
Issue #1 begins to set up the world of Mucho Man, establishing Magnanimous as a smart, savvy, and exacting mega-hero, while El Pistolero is a creative-thinking gun-wielding purveyor of one-liners. When El Pistolero dies, who will take his place as the UM representative for Mexico? Enter El Serpiente, a villain in the wrestling ring who quite possibly has the title “hero” in his future.
Offensive, ridiculous, and constantly irreverant, this book takes the idea that luchadors are to Mexico what superheroes are to the United States and runs with it. Its self-awareness allows the narrative to contain serious moments and killer crustaceans, both fitting naturally within Mucho Man. Steeped in Mexican culture, and despite some grammatically incorrect pidgin Spanish, it’s as though this book acknowledges and claims the worst, most mustachio’d, telanovella-style-drama stereotypes that are commonly associated with Mexico, but also uses the sheer ridiculousness to subvert these social perceptions
The panel layout screams action as Chris Marino, who is both artist and writer of this title, plays with face-punching splash pages and zoomed insets as the violence seem to leap off the page. The major detriment to this comic is only that it is neither colored nor shaded. The amusing gaudiness is jarringly contrasted by the black-and-white ink. Additionally, the timing of the story is occasionally confusing, as some of the scene changes don’t make it clear how much time has passed. Overall, however, the art and story were clear, well-produced, and easy to follow.
This promising independently-published comic makes picking up issues #2-5 at mucho-man.com sound worthwhile.