Evil Inc.

Review covers the series so far

Evil Inc. takes place in a parody of the DC/Marvel universes. Many people have super powers, and use them for good or for evil. Evil doers typically come up with evil plans, and then heroes turn up to stop them. I'm sure you know what I mean by now, it's ground that's very well trodden.

You would think that covering something that has been done to death would not be a good idea, but paradoxically for a comedy it works quite well. Most readers are aware how superheroes and villains work making Evil Inc. instantly understandable to anyone, and the superhero genre has plenty of angles and history to poke fun at.

Evil Inc. is presented in the standard newspaper gag-a-day format. Readers get one small strip each day, which either slowly moves the story forward or just tells a throw-away joke.

Lots of online comics follow this format as a matter of keeping up tradition, but Evil Inc. uses the format because it is actually syndicated in a newspaper. Most people will probably find out about it online, however.

Of course, the thing about an online comic is that you can you can read the full run online and get your own opinion. But there are Evil Inc. books available if you want a hard-copy to read, and so I'm going to briefly cover the books.

Unlike most collections, these don't have any bonus features or commentary from the author. However that doesn't mean that no effort has gone into making them. Rather than just copy-paste comics in, the strips have been edited and their panels resized and re-arranged for book form.

This actually works quite well. Without the limitations of having to appear in a tiny newspaper slot, important panels which show action are enlarged, whereas small repeated panels without much movement are suppressed.

A fly in the ointment is that a few of the enlarged panels look a little off; while reading you will notice the odd panel have been blown up too much considering the quality of the image. However this is very slight, and you'll stop noticing as you get engrossed in the story.

Having read through the original versions online and the re-arranged panels for the book, I found that the layout used in the book was definitely a more pleasant read. To be honest, I like the new layout so much I feel that Evil Inc. is a victim of it's own success in a way; it's great that Brad Guigar is successful enough to get his work in the papers, but that limits the layout of the comic to newspaper format. If the comic was online-only then it could use whatever format was appropriate to the current storyline.

Anyway, if you enjoyed reading Evil Inc. online and have both the money and the shelf-space to spare, then I can recommend getting the books.