Granted, I was eating an especially spicy cassoulet as I read this issue of DC’s all-ages team-up title, but I was choked up by the end.
It’s the story of an ordinary Joe who, unable to find a job, falls into the role of professional henchman. First it’s the Toyman, but the World’s Finest team of Superman and Batman puts paid to that. Grabbing his wife and son, Joe flees to Star City and a job with the Clock King. Resident hero Green Arrow, aided by Batman, ensures it’s short lived. Feeling the need to get further away, Joe signs up with Atlantis’ own Ocean Master and, well, you can guess the rest. It’s ‘outrageous’.
The story ends on a happy note, a surprising one that coincided with the effect of those supper-time spices. ‘Help Wanted’ is a typically sharp done-in-one by Sholly Fisch, a salutary tale, economically and entertainingly told. It’s drawn with pizzazz by penciller Rich Burchett and inker Dan Davis, who effectively convey Joe’s lack of enthusiasm for flamboyant goon costumes and the more evil aspects of villainous life. The only off-note is Batman’s awkward head on the nicely designed cover.
The henchman’s tale is one that’s been told in comics a few times, but it bears re-examination, especially when a creative team has a new angle – and that’s what we have here.