Real Talk: This was supposed to be a Preview of Splatoon as I recently played the global testfire. However, I only got one game in before I couldn’t find a single other player. I’ll do Splatoon when I get Splatoon, I guess. As such, this is my fallback thing for the week.
I’m gonna go out on a limb here and guess you probably aren’t very familiar with “Save the Supers”. It’s a webshow created by Sandeep Parikh, of “The Guild” fame, and produced by MyDamnChannel.
The series focuses on a thinly veiled clone of the Justice League as they struggle to keep their head above water financially. The group consists of Merman (Parikh), the group’s de facto leader who’s super powers boil down to shooting ink and talking to fish, Fleetfoot (Jordan Black), a family man with super-speed and secret past, World Man (Mickey Hawtry), a man with a powerset only slightly smaller than his ego, Elementra (Mandell Maughan), a goddess with the power of wind, Night Knight (Max Bird-Ridnall), a scientist and only slightly less insane than the villains he puts away, and Morphman, who is represented by various objects rather than an actual person.
The series doesn’t so much focus on the crime fighting aspect of being a superhero but trying to keep their bank account in the black. Most of the conflict comes from either a lack of funds, World Man doing something stupid or (occasionally) a super villain. It’s like a slice of life documentary with superheroes. Imagine The Office meets The Justice League and that’s basically the show right there.
It’s a pretty short series, only being seven episodes, but it works well. Each episode is tight and dripping with humour. You know me, if there’s one thing I’m a fan of its tight, dripping, things well constructed web-series.
Parikh does a great job being the down-to-earth leader of the group, acting as the foil to the rest of the group, but still not above descending into it when times are tough. Fleetfoot’s powerset and personality line up perfectly, what with him being quite hyperactive and neurotic. World Man is incredibly self-inflated and just what I would expect to see from a comic take on the Man of Steel. Night Knight is the one that brings most of the humour. Whether it’s talking about how each incarnation of his sidekick, Sparrow, died, or admiring the Super Force’s boss with an almost sexual joy or discussing the creation of a DNA Soup to create a Super Baby, every one of his lines is delivered with the bravado that is to be expected from this exaggerated Batman caricature.
Aside from the well-constructed characters and the imaginative jokes the series looks great, especially when you consider that it’s a new IP. The Super Force’s HQ in particular looks good. The attention to detail such as in computer room or the door to Night Knight’s lab is astute really adds a feeling of professionalism to the fledgling web-series.
As long as I’m talking about this, I should really talk about Morph Man as well. Morph Man has no lines and is used more as a punchline than a character. The production team painted a bunch of things (A Piggy Bank, A Chair etc) in Morph Man’s colours and had the characters act with them and hold a conversation with a vase or what-have-you. He is characterised as a recovering alcoholic, and honestly, you haven’t lived until you see a lamp barf into a fridge and then overcome substance abuse. While it doesn’t look convincing, that’s a part of the joke and it works well.
In terms of weaknesses of the show, there’s quite a few. Elementra being one of them. She doesn’t really leave any lasting impact apart from being someone for Merman to lust after and to be the one to roll her eyes at all of the male characters. She’s basically every woman in a shitty webcomic. I guess, if that’s what they’re going for then it works really well. On top of that, the story arc as a whole feels very… 80’s? Does that make sense? The whole “We need cash or are going to shut down” thing wouldn’t be out of place in an American underdog movie. Just Ctrl+F “Super Force” with “Rec Centre” and all of the male character names with the word “Chad” and I’d expect to see it on the shelf at a Blockbuster. Finally, it all feels a bit inconsequential.
You know there’s that rule in writing fiction about how you should be writing about the most exciting part of a character’s life and if you aren’t you need to re-evaluate? Save the Supers didn’t really do that. The Super Force is in exactly the same position at the end of the series as they are in at the end. Again, I get that they’re going for the whole “Team of Super Heroes past their prime” shtick and they do that really well, it just feels a touch boring.
However, Save the Supers is more about the ride than the journey, and the ride is well worth it. Funny, inventive and looks great for its relatively small budget, it’s well worth half an hour of your time to watch the seven episodes. There’s a link below to the playlist.
Verdict: While it has problems, it is clearly made with a lot of love and passion for the project. Very much worth a watch.