Every super hero has at least one villain that is just horrible. They’re not horrible in the sense that they commit heinous acts. They’re horrible in that they’re bad at their job. In professional wrestling terms, they’re a jobber. Master Molecule is that villain. After what must be the millionth time he was put down by a hero, the Malevolence Collective is giving him one last chance as the leader of a fledgling team of bad guys called the Frightening Five…even though there are only three of them.
Villains Seeking Hero is a quirky super hero comic. It looks at the odd organization that seemingly organizes the costumed criminals in this world, showing how it works just like any other company. It has red tape and office politics. The only difference is that your boss might just throw you into the sun if you have a bad review.
Much of this quirkiness comes from Ben Matsuya’s artwork. You fully understand the tone of Villains Seeking Hero from the very first page. While it can have its serious moments, it’s a comedic book emphasized by the overly expressive characters and ridiculous nature of some of the antics portrayed.
Despite how pathetic he is, you can’t help but feel for Master Molecule. He’s trying his hardest, but he just hasn’t been able to make a splash as a villain. He takes this work very seriously, but, like most of us dealing with any sort of real job, he’s kind of fed up with everything. Life has dealt him a pretty crappy hand, but at the end of the day, this is his job and he’s going to make the best of it.
Writer Louis Southard presents Master Molecule as an underdog, which helps in his relatability. The guy is looking for a break and is trying to make the best of a bad situation even when the world seems determined to put him down. Letterer Buddy Beaudoin adds just the right emphasis in key areas to allow for some of the more humorous elements to land well. It adds a nice push to the jokes in a medium where you can’t control pacing or volume.
My one issue with Villains Seeking Hero is that this first chapter ends when the real hook is finally revealed. While it makes for a nice cliffhanger, it would have had more of an impact earlier in the story to grab our attention. As it stands, it’s a largely bureaucratic look at super villainy which can be a little dry at times. Fortunately, Action Lab: Danger Zone is releasing the whole first volume this week so we’ll have a chance to dig into the full story very soon.