Let me tell you a story: Roger Dalton is a dentist who can’t make a good decision. You may have sensed that by his decision to be a dentist (jk). His love life is in shambles; although his ex-wife is a sweetheart and is still there for him, his brother and father cut him out and mock him, and he exists waiting for the chance at a better life that he deserves. Or at least he thinks he deserves it.
Fortunately for him, he lives in a superhero world. When superhero comic book magic happens, he gets involved in an epic fight that results in him changing his body with this world’s Superman (named Cirrus). Finally, he has the chance he deserves, but will he rise to the challenge? And what will happen to Cirrus, now trapped in a chubby dentist’s body? Their unexpected team-up will need to save the day, or else everything will fall apart! That’s the premise of The Schlub #1, by Ryan Stegman, Kenny Porter, Tyrell Cannon, Mike Spicer, and John. J. Hill. A body-switch superhero story that will make us reflect on second chances.
There’s some backstory to this book, which was created by Ryan Stegman right before putting it on hold to go and revolutionize Venom for Marvel Comics and spawned from his love for body switch movies. Combined with his love for superheroes, he pitched a title originally named The Unbearable Roger Dalton (shortened to T.U.R.D.). Therefore, the now-called Schlub is a story years in the making, which continues to feel relevant in a superhero-dominated comic book industry and an idiot-dominated real world.
The Schlub #1 is an action-packed book, full of details from start to finish. Cannon and Spicer excel on the pages, achieving exciting fights in a time where action sequences are often rushed for the plot’s sake. Tension and destruction are complemented by the body switch context that spawns funny moments. Giving the power of a God to a sad little man means chaos, and the book’s fast pace embodies it perfectly. It is as if the book goes as fast as Roger’s emotions, so it’s a thrill to read and experience.
Combining terrific art with a story with two opposite characters that questions whether everyone deserves a second chance, The Schlub #1 is a perfect book for new readers wanting to further their reach into superhero comics, getting in there with books such as Invincible or Blue Flame that expand on the known tropes of the superhero genre, combining it with human and mature themes to create a book that people that grew up with Marvel and DC will enjoy. Because, let’s face it, those books didn’t contain irresponsible people who fought with their families, divorced their spouses, and hated their jobs but still wanted to live, which is probably the story of someone every millennial out here knows in the current world – a world of underdogs.
That’s the key to this book. Despite being the underdogs, the bright side is that these people often have hearts and potential. And Roger Dalton is the ultimate underdog, so you will end up rooting for him despite feeling sorry for him!