Comic Book Review: ‘The Pro’ by Garth Ennis, Jimmy Palmiotti, Amanda Conner

The ProThe Pro by Garth Ennis

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

NSFW, obviously.

The titular character, a member of the “world’s oldest profession,” is given superpowers by an alien who’s made a bet basically saying that anyone can be a hero.

Even a woman who just got stiffed by a john, had a minor argument with the babysitter, and is now bottlefeeding her young son on the toilet with her panties down while the alien’s watching her (and yes, the robot suggests he’s a creeper. ‘Voyeur’ if you insist).
This is some pretty sharp satire. By which I mean, the critique of tropes in superhero comics pulls no punches—especially once we get to the fairly transparent Justice League parody, and the not-Superman, not-Wonderwoman, not-Green Lantern, and—absolutely my favorite—not-Flash. (The last one is named ‘Speedo,’ and is dressed accordingly.)

The art, as is appropriate, follows your standard superhero comic, although the ill-fitting costume constantly leaves our protagonist dealing with nip slips, and the other leading female isn’t doing much better. The Pro lives in a messy, NSFW world, and there’s no hiding it. Limbs are torn off, people get shot up, dangerous blowjobs are had.

The story itself, this being a one-shot, doesn’t get too deeply into any of the characters. For the length, it’s not a bad job of characterization—I liked the pacing—but in part it works because they’re stock characters. We know what to expect from someone with round, baby-blue eyes, a Superman curl, and a superhero name of “The Saint.”

Anyway, as with any decent satire, the focus shifts from potshots to a serious message, in particular the fact that superheroes only fight supervillains, and essentially cancel each other out except for the millions and millions of dollars of property damage. The Pro is as jaded as it gets, which made the ending almost out of character for me, but I can’t think of any other way this could wrap up without dragging out, and it reinforces another point: superheroes are generally considered a better class of people, even when they aren’t doing much to improve the world.

If you’re in the mood for some moderately dirty humor, and don’t mind some serious shooting down of superhero comics, check this out. It’s not a lengthy time committment, and the dialogue is hilarious.

View all my reviews


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