Booze and superheroes. That’s the basic premise
for Blue Agave & Worm from ‘Family Guy’ writer Kirk Butler
and if you like ‘Family Guy’ style humor then you’ll probably find a
lot to like in Blue Agave & Worm.
Albert Lopez. Jr is one of the worst comedians
ever and pretty much a loser. With a crappy job, no girlfriend,
dysfunctional family and a best friend who is about to leave L.A and
go back to Mexico Albert isn’t exactly living the high life. As it
always goes everything changes one night when Albert gets hammered
on tequila, falls into an agave plant and wakes to a talking 500
year-old burrow named Ricardo who tells him he’s a Mexican superhero
the Blue Agave. Yeah, things start to get a whole lot weirder and
more interesting from then on.
Creating new superheroes is hard. Even Stan Lee’s
latest efforts with Boom Studios! have been a little bit mixed and
he’s Stan Lee! Still, Butler has managed to create a new superhero
that feels unique while also playing to his strengths, he’s freaking
hilarious when’s he not trying to be a comedian and he needs to get
hammered to access his powers. Yeah, not exactly the type of morally
straight superhero we are accustomed too but it’s a refreshing and
fun change of pace. Albert is the kind of guy you also can’t help
but like as he starts out so pathetic you want him to succeed. Tony,
his best friend and eventual sidekick, is twisted yet funny in that
strange, borderline wrong way that many of the ‘Family Guy’
characters are. Ricardo is awesome because he’s a talking burrow
(donkey) who just doesn’t give a damn anymore because he’s one Blue
Agave away from retirement. Imagine Donkey from Shrek’s creepy uncle
who has lived a hard life and may or may not be a drunk and that’s
what Ricardo is like.
The book is at its best when it plays to its
twisted side. The moment at home with Albert’s family was kind of
awkward but the meeting with the burrow Ricardo and the American
superhero Bud were crazy, a little racist yet laugh out loud funny.
Butler doesn’t pull any punches with the jokes and uses the racist
comments as a way of bringing still existing prejudices to the
forefront. It’s a style some people may not be able to see through,
sometimes it can be pretty blunt, but most of the time Butler pulls
it off well. The one thing I’m not so sure about is where exactly
Butler plans to go with the series. We were introduced to another
drunken superhero, Bud, but are there villains too? What is the
greater role of the Blue Agave?
The artwork really fits well with the story.
Butler has created such a fun and crazy story, superheroes that need
to get drunk to use their powers, and the cartoony art style with a
lot of crisp, clean and bright colors mirrors the fun story. It also
used a technique I’m not too familiar with. A lot of the backgrounds
in the comic look like they are actually photos from the L.A area. I
think I’d have to see it used more too fully judge it but it
certainly adds to the strange nature of the book and helps it stand
out from the crowd as there aren’t any impressive splash pages or
really epic fights.
Great characters and great dialogue are the
highlight of this series and you’d expect that from a writer who has
experience with the ‘Family Guy’ series. If you’re a fan of that
sort of humor then you’ll find Blue Agave & Worm a fun,
twisted little superhero comic unlike anything you’ve read before.
Coupled with some well suited artwork I can’t wait to see where
Butler does decide to take it next. Russian vodka guy battling
French wine guy, sure I’d pay to see that.