Being a hero is much easier when you were a villain: Edison Rex #5 from Monkey Brain Comics

Edison Rex #5 published by MonkeyBrain (@Monkeybrain_inc) comics is created by writer Chris Roberson (@chris_roberson) and artist Dennis Culver (@dennisculver)

Formerly Earth’s most hated super-villain, Edison Rex defeated his arch-nemesis and now has to over come bigger, badder problems to fulfill his new destiny as mankind’s savior, including other villains attempting to stop him and the much more difficult problem of convincing the world (along with those pernicious 24 hour news networks) that he’s actually on their side. After recruiting the cyber-villainess Cerebella to lead his R&D department and his assigning his longstanding #2 M’Alizz as his head of security, Edison Rex finally unveiled EdisonAid (a privately funded, charitable orgainzation) to the world. At the groundbreaking a malicious group of scientists known as H.O.R.N.E.T with their genetic monster L.A.R.V.A. (Lifeform Augmented with Recombinant Vectors – Alpha) attack Rex and company. The formerly evil genius must find a way to beat the nigh-indestructible LARVA and hopefully get some good PR out of the whole ordeal.

Both a bit of a send-up of traditional superhero antics (LARVA being a hilariously grotesque MODOK-like creature) and a clever story in its own right, Edison Rex #5 distills the genre down to only the best, most logical bits. The art (by Dennis Culver and Stephen Downer) is starkly original, but still feels familiar to the genre it’s lightly parodying and the character design behind hideous L.A.R.V.A. Sticks with you well after you close the Comixology app. Even more striking is Chris Roberson’s inventive solution to a hero/villain problem that would have normally been solved either by reckless violence or a highly implausible turn of events makes you stop reading and say to yourself, “Damn that makes MUCH more sense than what other superheroes would have done.” The end result comes across just as much like a workplace comedy as it does a super-powered battle with laser cannons.

Edison Rex #5 can only be purchased through Comixology so if you’re interested in something different (i.e. a super-hero comic that is actually clever) then this may be for you. Each issue is only 99 cents and the series up til now would cost less than a venti mocha, so give it a go.

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