Leatherboy is the story of a young male superhero in a world in which everyone in a costume seems to have some strong sexual overtones… and hang-ups. The hero is an alien from an all-male planet, a fact he hides to maintain his popular profile. Gemini Man is a closeted bisexual with divided loyalties. Max Master (the villain) has a cock of death… no, really: when he shoots, it kills.

I describe this as a “story” for a reason: there actually is one. Joke all you want, but there’s actually more character development and plot in this smut comic than in {insert your least-favourite adolescent superhero title here}. It’s ironic that an “adults only” comic would rely less on exploitative pin-ups than many of the comics targeted at kids who aren’t supposed be exposed to sex.

It begins with our hero lamenting his recent outing… as if anyone could ever have thought that a young adult male with an oh-so-stylish haircut, who goes around in nothing but a black leather thong and harness, and apparently shaves all his body hair could possibly be heterosexual. {grin}

There are some riffs on the public-turns-on-a-gay-hero theme, and we’re introduced to Leatherboy’s fathers back on the planet L’thur, in a scene with even more (intentionally) bad puns based on 70’s gay slang. Then we meet the sadistic and deadly (not to mention buff and hairy) Max Master, whose goal is to have Leatherboy for his own.

Max pulls out all the stops (and fills a few of them himself) in his efforts to get Leatherboy. But he’s portrayed as a somewhat tragic villain. (Imagine what an exploding cock might do to your love life.) Even the hate-mongering fundies are shown to have another, more, um “loving” side when they fall under Max’ influence. The story isn’t especially deep, but neither is it a simplistic morality play… probably because it’s more fun to keep people guessing about who’s on whose side… who’s on whose back. {grin}

 The sex scenes are a little disappointing. Unlike those in Hardthrob, they seem a bit artificial, and the figures themselves are kind of stiff (as in “cardboard”, not “erect” {grin}). Maynard draws sexier and more dynamic figures when he’s being a little more coy. The scenes don’t have much build-up or development in them; they just happen.

Also, be advised that there’s a pretty consistent theme of dominance, bondage, and sadomasochism in them; Leatherboy gets restrained more often than a character in a 1940’s Wonder Woman comic. {grin} The degree to which you find those things exciting, offensive, or boring will probably determine whether you enjoy these
scenes, because it’s about all they really offer.

Leatherboy has a little humour, a little social commentary, a little character development, a little plot, and a little kinky sex. In somewhat more talented hands, this could have made it into a well-rounded tale. Instead it fails to really succeed at any of them. But if you’re looking for an erotic comic that doesn’t appeal exclusively to hetero males, it’s not a bad diversion.

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