Holiday Gift Bag: The Major Bummer Super Slacktacular

I’m already starting to get a bit behind on these gift recommendations, so let’s get back into ’em. Today, we’re going to talk about The Complete Major Bummer Super Slacktacular.

A little history: “Major Bummer” was a humor comic published by DC from 1997-1998. It was written by John Arcudi, with art by Doug Mahnke. It didn’t appear to be within DC’s normal continuity — no other superheroes appeared, and Lou was never mentioned in any other DC books. There was also no one named “Major Bummer” in the comic — the title was part pun and part a thematic mission statement — namely, “Superpowers suuuuck, now let’s have a larf at people being brutally injured.”

Our main character was Lou Martin, a skinny, unmotivated slacker with few interests outside of eating, sleeping, and playing video games. But after a couple of alien grad students accidentally implanted him with a hypertech superheart, Lou was transformed into a superstrong, musclebound, super-smart slacker with few interests outside of eating, sleeping, playing video games, and trying to avoid being horribly maimed by supervillains.

The comic’s supporting characters included a group of misfits who’d received their own superpowers: Gecko (a superhero fanboy who could stick to walls), Val (a gorgeous babe who could fly and had the hots for Lou), Lauren (an elderly, scatterbrained lady who could see the future), and Francis (a condescending artiste with a supersonic scream).

The main villains were a bunch of superpowered thugs: impossibly-skinny claw-slinger Carlos, super-hot density-controlling Nancy, chubby electro-punk Bridget, big-brained weirdo Reggie, and Nunzio. Really, Nunzio was the only one who actually counted — he was a gigantic, red-skinned, lizardy monster who was way, way tougher than Lou was.

Other villains included the alien grad students, Zinnac and Yoof, a transdimensional Nazi thunder lizard called Tyranosaurus Reich, a psychotic, buck-toothed hero-worshiping geek named Milton, a demon-possessed toddler, and Val’s horrible parents.

The violence in this book, mainly directed at Lou, was entirely gratuitous, over-the-top, and ridiculous. Lou gets repeatedly beaten to a bloody pulp by Nunzio and various other threats. He gets bitten, clawed, shot, dropped out of planes, and trampled by elephants. In one memorable panel in the final issue, he even gets used as a club to beat a future version of himself.

DC has never bothered to put this out in a collected trade paperback, which was just insane, because it was such a grand series. Eventually, Arcudi and Mahnke were able to take the entire series to Dark Horse Comics, and they published this single gigantic volume earlier this year. If you missed the original series, this will run you about $30, but it’s really the only way to see what all the awesomeness was all about.

The Complete Major Bummer Super Slacktacular by John Arcudi and Doug Mahnke. Go pick it up.


  1. Voodoo Ben Said,

    December 7, 2011 @ 5:24 pm

    IT’s ABOUT TIME. I only ever tracked down, like, five or so issues of this book, in the decade-plus I’ve been hunting back issue bins for it.

  2. scottslemmons Said,

    December 7, 2011 @ 8:15 pm

    I’m still amazed DC let Dark Horse have it. Maybe DiDio isn’t pure evil? Or maybe he was just distracted by all the other evil he was doing…