The newest trading card line from Wax Eye (Cereal Killers), founded by by Joe Simko, STUPID HEROES is much like you’d imagine—a silly stab at turning mainstream comic book heroes into cheesy counterparts (ie. Silver Server, Stuporman, Bitman). Beyond just simple parody, though, Stupid Heroes also manages to introduce a few new ideas into the mix (ie. Professor Weird Beard, The Red Zit, La Femme Funkbreath, Lava Lad) which instantly makes it one of the most delightfully goofy (and occasionally gross) card series I’ve seen in awhile.
Featuring artwork by Simko and fellow Garbage Pail Kids and Wacky Packages alum (Brent Engstrom, Neil Camera, Jeff Zapata), this 110 card set consist of 55 actual characters (with A/B variants) PLUS rare sketch (chase) cards and X-RAY VISION sketch cards. Unlike the dark, twisted sense of humor found in Cereal Killers, Stupid Heroes instead chooses a more tongue-in-cheek approach, with lots of exaggerated features and bodily fluids aplenty. Also, these are actual trading cards (vs sticker cards) so the paper stock is a little firmer than its cereal-inspired predecessor.
While the general style of each card is similar enough, the format of each one varies depending on the artist. For example, some designs include a fully-illustrated background (ie. Illuminati Man, The Blue Blogger) while others simply have a color gradient background (ie. Blobbin, The Prick). Both look great, but I have to admit that I appreciated the subtle details found in the fully-illustrated backgrounds a little more and even found myself looking at them multiple times to see what additional easter eggs (if any) I could sniff out.
The back sides are equally as diverse with some forming multi-card puzzles, others revealing a glimpse at a completed puzzle, and still other featuring artist bios… or rather super-artist origin stories. The bulk of the back sides, however, host a bio of their respective “stupid hero” including details like secret identity, mission, hobbies, quotes, tagline, occupation, arch enemy and so on—all written by the artists and Wax Eye Manager, June Gonzales.
Having only gone through a few packs, I’d be hard-pressed to pick a favorite from this bunch BUT I have to say that Bionic Booger and The Inbred-ible Hick are definitely in the front running! Honestly, I can’t wait to see what other Stupid Heroes I uncover which – yeah – means I’ll be picking up some more packs soon. You can grab your own single packs ($2.25) or a 24-pack hobby box display ($49.95) online at the official Wax Eye website.