In a way, Sellouts is the exact same book that Supergroup was, they just changed Marvel to DC before writing it. In another way, it’s the biggest book in the Powers series since the first one, because this is where everything changes. Obviously I cannot talk about the second part of that claim, so I’ll have to explain the first part. Imagine if the Justice League of America was full of people who hate each other and are no longer concerned with fighting the supervillains much at all, instead renting out their Hall of Justice for tours and merchandising. Imagine further if Batman were to be embroiled in a sex scandal in which an underaged girl was dressed up in the Robin outfit, seducing him, on film. This is like that, except these statements are not spoilers, they are the premise of the book. Things start getting bad after all that is established. (The names have, of course, been changed to protect the guilty.)
Really, that’s what makes it work for me, is that a lot of such stories would be rolling for shock value. And while that is a little bit true here, don’t get me wrong, it is still primarily a springboard to examine dire consequences, and I like how they laid it out. This established, I have a bit of a gripe about Deena Pilgrim. Well, not about her, but… this is a buddy cop noir drama thing, right? The thing about buddy cops is, they are both the main character, billing split right down the middle. So why is it that Deena has been shown naked not only more often than her partner, but in fact more often than any other character in the series? I will never oppose nudity in my art, full stop. That is a known quantity in any disinterested observer’s evaluation of me. But that doesn’t mean some characters aren’t being exploited, and I do object to that. ‘Cause, seriously, what gives? How are you supposed to be a credible main character if the author or director or whoever is exploiting you?
It occurs to me belatedly that the title may have had more relevance than I thought. In any case, I hope something is done to adjust the balance. This be uncool, as it stands.