Books — Dr. Blink: Superhero Shrink

Dr. Blink: Superhero Shrink, #0, by John Kovalic and Christopher Jones, Dork Storm Press, 2004, 32 pages.

Even Superman could use therapy.

Especially Superman, come to think of it. If anybody’s going to have issues, wouldn’t it be superheroes? Weight of the world on your shoulders; more power than you know what to do with; and think of the body image difficulties. Not to mention the daily clashes between good and evil, as if you didn’t have enough stress already what with wearing Spandex underwear 24/7 and getting picked on by people who think you’re a weenie cub reporter.

In a grand case of why didn’t I think of that, artists John Kovalic and Christopher Jones bring therapy to superheroes with their promising new comic series, Dr. Blink, Superhero Shrink. Issue #0, a preview, is available now; Issue #1 is due in September. Bimonthly releases are planned. (See to order copies directly, or ask at a bookstore or comics store.)

Our shrink-hero (not himself a superhero, though he does feel pretty good about his contribution to the world) is Dr. Frederick Wertham Blink, author of “Chicken Soup for the Super Soul.” Blink has a smart secretary, a 16-year-old daughter, and mild family troubles of his own merely hinted at (something about a divorce and that teen daughter)—just enough so we know he could be one of us. Or we could be one of him.

Most comics urge us to identify with a powerful character (or one who at least eventually triumphs in some way); this one allows us to identify with Dr. Blink: maybe he can’t leap tall buildings or stop a locomotive… but where would these guys be without him?

Blink’s regular clients include Captain Omnipotent (a “classic overachiever” plagued by survivor’s guilt); Ms. Perception, a telepath who’s always one step ahead of his analyses; Jimmy Hogan, former childhood sidekick to a superhero; and a whole stable of others with an endless cornucopia of fun psychic problems crying out to get their 50 minutes a week.

Kovalic and Jones have hit a mother lode of comic ore. Watch dueling caped conquerors smash through Dr. Blink’s picture window, wrestle in his office, and reduce to petulant name-calling—“Child!” “Baboon!” “Comic Book Collector!” Consider the vagaries of excessive power—superhero Speed Freak’s special talents are handy when you need them but present certain problems for his wife, if you catch our drift.

At the end of #0 these characters and more are lined up outside Dr. Blink’s office, pleading for help with their “episodes,” traumas and dependencies.”

This man has a long career ahead of him.

—Story by Lisa Parsons

2004 HippoPress LLC | Manchester, NH