03 September 2008

Herbie Goes to the Devil (Herbie Archives, Dark Horse Books, 2008)

There's this new hardcover comic book going around. Well, it's new to me. Herbie Archives features a 1960s comic starring a sleepy-eyed, overweight, lollipop sucking boy with superpowers and it's probably one of the most fun comic I've read this year. It's so surreal I love it. Let's look at one of Herbie's adventures, shall we?

Herbie Popnecker tangles with Satan. Does he win? Do you really need to ask?

All is not well at the Popnecker's. Dad just lost his job and mom thinks Herbie can help them by getting a job himself. Seriously? Herbie? Look at him. Dude's enjoying his lollipops while lazing around in a hammock. Silly mom.

Meanwhile, down in Hell, Satan's accountant has some bad news for his boss. Hell isn't getting enough souls. People must have been very good back in the '60s. So Satan throws a dart at a map of the USA and comes up with a name: Herbie Popnecker.

"Uh-Huh. And you're the devil." Nothing fazes Herbie, not even a horned red-skinned man in a cape.

So Satan tells Herbie that he (Satan) has been getting some bad press for the past million years. He's a nice guy actually and to prove it Satan gives Herbie a free sample of his powers. He makes Herbie into a movie star, no strings attached. That didn't go too well, though. Herbie is transported to the set of Cleopatra with Elizabeth Taylor but instead of making out with her, as per the script, Herbie prefers to suck his lollipop.

Then he remembers his recently unemployed father:

One dubious contract signing later:

Missiles plant? Mom Popnecker=Republican. But no, the business is a lollipop factory which is akin to giving Auric Goldfinger the keys to Fort Knox and telling him to help himself. And Herbie does. He does nothing else but suck 'pops at his dad's factory. Until the day arrived when Satan came to collect. So what does Herbie do? Goes to Hell quietly and instigate a strike!

Can't have the imps of Hell on strike. Who will run the furnaces? Satan is so frustrated that he rips out the contract for Herbie's soul and tells him to get out of Hell. But what about dad's lollipop factory? Won't that be gone now?

Well, all's well that ends well. Even Satan can't get the better of Herbie Popnecker.

(From Herbie Archives vol. 1 from Dark Horse, a book every comic book fan should have in their collection. Because I say so)

1 comment:

Maxo said...

I seriously need to get this.