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Dr. Blink Super Hero Shrink 1: Id. Ego. Superego!    by John Kovalic, Christopher Jones & Melissa Kaercher order for
Dr. Blink Super Hero Shrink 1
by John Kovalic
Order:  USA  Can
Dork Storm Press, 2006 (2006)
* * *   Reviewed by Lance Victor Eaton

If one must read a post-post-post-modern comic book this year (or next year or last year), then Dr. Blink, Superhero Shrink should be the one. Kovalic and company have delivered a true gem of a series that is amusing, satirical, and downright hilarious. Laughing out loud is a term that gets tossed around a lot, so I will not resort to that. However, I recommend that you do not read this graphic novel in a library.

Dr. Blink is the man superheroes go to in order to unload and discuss their feelings. After finding himself in the middle of a brawl between two men in tights, Blink comes up with a genius idea. He writes a book, Chicken Soup for the Super Soul, that becomes an instant classic and bible for the superhuman community. Before Blink can, well, blink, the super-aggressive, super-sad, and super-disturbed are lined up outside his door waiting to be cured.

Of course, the humor involved has two levels. Non-comic-literate readers will enjoy many of the jokes and situations that Blink finds himself in. While many may not know who the authors are literally and literarily mocking, the situational humor is strong enough to appeal to all. However, it's the references and comparisons to other superheroes, particularly those of DC Comics, Marvel Comics, and Image Comics that raise the bar. Whether it is Spank (Spawn) who is rather self-conscious about his name, Ginormou, Devourer of Planets (Galactus) who appears too have an eating problem or Major Amazing (Captain Marvel) who suffers from cosmic depression, the parallels invoked in this series cause readers to reevaluate the original heroes.

In his profession catering to superheroes, Blink's life is anything but normal. He must be constantly on the lookout for supervillains trying to take advantage of his clients' private information, such as their secret identities and family members. Additionally, he has his own problems to deal with including relationships (or lack thereof), and trying to live a normal life. But he too may find his own inner Hulk when he meets his very own arch-nemesis.

Kovalic has a fantastic knack for perverting pop culture or making it the butt-end of his jokes. Kovalic and crew go to great lengths to do so with the superhero genre and it's absolutely delicious. Rather than be repulsed, true believers will fall instantly in love with this series. Even the narrative devices are played with, as they tinker with different storytelling tactics now common in superhero comics. Amusing as it is action-packed, Dr. Blink Superhero Shrink is without question one of the best graphic novels of the year. Its assault on the conventions of superheroes proves to be at a level well above that in other farces and satires created over the years, and particularly poignant when reflecting real world attitudes.

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