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Comic review: Mr. Wonderful

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Mr. Wonderful

Published by Pantheon Books. Art and story by Daniel Clowes.

The Deal: Famed cartoonist Daniel Clowes (the guy behind books like Ghost World, David Boring and more) returns with a brand-new, slice-of-life, romance-tinged graphic novel.

The Good: Superhero comics often get slammed by critics because — with stories featuring scantily clad women, muscle-bound men and countless scenes of violence — they are essentially depictions of male fantasies. And although Mr. Wonderful is a very real-world tale — about one middle-aged man's (perhaps final) search for love — at its core, it's also a male fantasy. The book's protagonist is, after all, almost superhumanly flawed, and the idea that he has a chance to connect with a woman who's "out of his league" is certainly the stuff of some guy's imagination. But that's not such a bad thing. Just because a work of art channels a particular worldview (and all the cultural baggage that goes with it) that doesn't mean it's an inferior work. Clowes manages to take a seemingly dude-centric story and make it relatable across gender lines — and he does this by padding his tale with copious amounts of humor, sweetness and pathos. Ultimately, what we're left with is not some guy's unrealistic dream of hooking up with some hot chick you'd find on the cover of Maxim, but a tale about people transcending their solitude to make a real, human connection.

The Bad: Hey, it's all good this week.

The Verdict: Buy it.

Some reviewed materials provided by Heroes Aren't Hard to Find: www.heroesonline.com.

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