“You can’t fight me,” he sneers. “You don’t have insurance anymore.”
“I’ve got COBRA.”
That exchange, delivered during a mid-air melee, sums up the comedic blend of “Captain Freedom,” the new novel by G. Xavier Robillard. Secret lairs and teenage sidekicks share space with product endorsement deals and online archenemy-matching services. Heroics are evaluated by their impact on the comic-book company bottom line. And if you need to go back in time to spoil a nefarious plot, it’s no problem to rent a run-down time machine from a skeezy Enterprise knock-off. (The release form contains a warning not to do anything to affect the course of history, but it also notes, “This rule is total bullshit, but you agree to it anyway, just as you agree to pay your work for any office supplies that you use for personal reasons.”)
Captain Freedom is the kind of guy who’d steal all of the office supplies he could get his hands on, even as he saves Cleveland in the process. The book approaches his life as a gag-a-minute memoir, using its oblivious slacker hero to bring to life as many superhero gags as possible, from remote tropical islands that host volcanic bases to the perils of the hero’s weakness (in this case, soy).