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Sunday, November 02, 2008

LA MUSE (2008)

Susan La Muse: my kind of omnipotent gal!

I certainly can't speak for everybody out there in the internet ether, but in my life I'm blessed to know a number of lovely, creative, intelligent, funny and sexy women who enrich my existence on a daily basis. No two are alike per se, but the all have a bit of the Goddess in 'em, and as I read this graphic novel (culled from a web comic) I was reminded of some of them in no small way.

Written by Adi Tantimedh, drawn by Hugo Petrus and colored by the enigmatically-monikered "— 3 —", LA MUSE appears, like many graphic novels and comics these days, to have been crafted with an eye on landing a big-screen adaptation, but that in no way works to its detriment. Instead it reads like a smart comedy that genuinely funny and if translated to film would be very entertaining (although some of its elements would definitely earn it a "hard R," if not quite an NC-17). It's the story of two sisters, Susan and Libby La Muse, two twenty-somethings whose parents are vastly powerful non-corporeal aliens who after billions of years of boring existence decided to hang out on Earth and experience life as human beings. Their time here produced the girls, who are scientifically certifiable humans (DNA and all that stuff) but with some considerable differences: younger sib Libby is a somewhat priggish and no-nonsense talent agent who shares a telepathic communications bond with her older sister, Susan, accurately described in the book's promotional material as "a hard-living, polyamorous, chain-smoking political activist," who also happens to be damned near omnipotent. The sisters keep their abilities hidden from all save each other, but when an attempted suicide-bombing leaves Susan with no choice but to act and be "outed," she rises to the occasion, saves the day and, — her secret immediately showing up on the internet so what does she have to lose? — immediately sets about fixing all of the world's problems in ways that only a goddess would.

Ain't it the truth!

Heal the ozone layer? No problem. Render Africa green and abundantly fertile overnight? Piece of cake. Convert gas-burning cars to electric with but a thought? Totally doable. You name it? Got it covered. Susan La Muse is a gal who's smiling, kind, lovely, creative, intelligent, funny and in full (and quite enthusiastic) charge of her sexuality (a running gag about a certain DVD she disseminates is priceless),

Making friends at the North Pole.

so with this benevolent goddess acting as a pan-cultural, global panacea it's only a matter of time before political and corporate entities seek to stop her by any means necessary. But the question is this: exactly how do you assassinate a person who is in most applicable senses of the word a goddess? That's the big question, and that's when things go really nuts.

Reading LA MUSE was a pleasure from start to finish, and even though it kind of works in the same territory as Garth Ennis and Phil Winslade's GODDESS (1995) it's still very much its own entity and is refreshingly free of city-smashing superhero throwdowns that would have been very predictable in this particular story. Susan is the only one of her kind, so her non-super opponents have to try their best to even get her attention (her abilities include a type of omnipresent protective field that keeps her alert if she or any of her friends and loved ones are in danger, and she can move to intercept pretty much at will if need be), and since she's unbeatable it's great fun to see plan after plan go straight down the shitter...until something happens that more than evens the odds.

TRUST YER BUNCHE and give LA MUSE a look. There were several sequences that had me laughing out loud — particularly how Susan solves the problem of an army of murderous white supremacist skinheads — and reminded me of what might happen if Kevin Smith had a female counterpart who came up with a feminist superhero comedy; it's foul-mouthed, violent in places, raunchier than I expected, and filled with dialogue that's just plain fun to "hear" issue from the characters' mouths. It's also a lot more intelligent than I would have expected, especially with the plethora of really awful female comics characters out there, but, as previously stated, the women in this book brought to mind some of my favorite real-life people, and anything that can do that is something I have to recommend.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks! Will check it out. :)