By Jason Loo
Pitiful Human Lizard was certainly not on my radar in terms of a comic book, but when I was emailed an early look I was intrigued.
The initial interest came from the title being Canadian. This is a great country and I proudly support Canadian whether it’s the Canadian Football League over that other league in the U.S., or watching Canadian television programming such as Continuum, Murdoch Mysteries or Dark Matter, or in comic books.
With PHL writer/artist Jason Loo has an interesting approach to the superhero genre. The art reflects cartoon roots, and reminds me a lot of old Archie Comic hero books, with some definite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle influences seeming apparent.
It might not be an art style which every fan of tights and capes will buy into, but for this light-hearted fare it works well enough.
The writing is along the same lines. Loo hasn’t gone out to tell the story of a character with deep emotional motivations. The PHL has not watched his parents gunned down walking away from the theatre.
Instead, the man behind the mask is Lucas Barrett with a mundane 9-to-5 job who puts on a rather silly suit and goes out to fight crime as a rather bumbling superhero, at least to start.
The story falls back on PHL being the non-powered underdog with a lot of gumption and heart but zero skills.
But hey there is that secret formula he backs into taking when he joins a drug test because he needs to make money to pay for martial art classes that he happens to suck at, but still shows up at each week.
The drug does something, and suddenly the PHL is a bit less pitiful, and just maybe he can become the hero he desires so badly to be.
Set in Toronto, PHL is a humour-based hero book, although no one has actually told the Lizard that. He wants to be a real hero, and that is what ultimately makes the book for enjoyable. A hapless hero suddenly having the ability to be all that he wants to be, but will that be a good thing, or will the man in the suit change more than he bargained for? That I suppose is what issue #2 may tell us.