One Punch Reviews #66: Shädbase
Hey, kids! Do you like webcomics? Sure you do! But do you think that webcomics have gotten a little … sissy these days? You read Penny Arcade and you say to yourself, “You know, dickwolves was funny. But it sure could’ve been a lot funnier if they’d actually shown the rape. And in graphic detail.”
To which I say: “What the hell is wrong with you?”
But, boy, do I have a comic for you! It’s a little something called Shädbase, by a creator who goes by “Shadman.” It’s a darkly humorous take on pop culture. Shädbase takes references from video games and cartoons, and it physically forces itself on those references without any consent, horribly abusing those references with blunt force trauma, and violating and humiliating those references until they’re emotionally scarred and bereft of dignity.
Suffice to say, links contained in this review are not going to be safe for work.
Now, to be fair, Shädbase does offer glimmers of actually being funny. As Metalocalypse showed us, there is something quite silly about excessive blood, guts, and violence (which it gets away with by depicting its leads as oblivious yet likable boneheads). There’s a comic where a soldier — which is from one of those first-person shooters that all look alike to me — shoots at propane tanks, and he incurs the ire of a famous propane enthusiast. A very early one shows a dude getting off on a dirty magazine, but his demeanor totally changes when he sees the date on the magazine. It’s dark humor that reminded me a lot of Sexy Losers, which went so far over the edge that, after your initial shock, you laugh because of how ridiculous the whole set-up was.
I was even slightly amused by a comic that many would consider to be highly controversial: a comic that depicts the Ku Kux Klan lynching an African-American man. I know. I’m a horrible person. Still, it’s kinda funny to imagine a bunch of frightening, racist Klan members cracking up at a really corny joke from Family Matters.
The thing that I cannot easily dismiss though, is Shädbase‘s depiction of women. And man… does this comic ever hate anyone with a double-X chromosome. I haven’t done an actual tally, but seems like fully half the jokes are about humiliating, raping, and graphically brutalizing women. It’s even the payoff to some of the comics’ multi-part storylines. In the world of Shadbase, women are dressed in the skimpiest of clothes, yet are not usually naked. They are playthings to be used however you see fit and disposed of like garbage whenever they become inconvenient. It’s done so often that you start to expect the worst by the end of each strip. Hell, do you know how relieved I was when I reached the end of a comic and it was just a joke about a woman’s period? Very relieved. And then the next comic was about Mystique from X-Men dead with a wrench to the head.
Again, Sexy Losers could get away with this kind of stuff. While it did include a strip about a dude raping a dead, headless woman through the trachea, it never let your forget how utterly stupid and silly the whole situation was. “Don’t take this seriously!” it seemed to blare in big bold letters. Here, it’s just depressing. There’s no punchline beyond, “This bitch didn’t put out, so she deserved what she got.” What the hell kind of punchline is that?!?!?! Let’s face it, despite its trappings as a humor comic, Shadbase is really for those creeps who, for some reason, feel morally obligated not to click on the Rule 34 site, but are turned on by seeing their favorite cartoon ladies get their eye sockets dislodged.
Or … maybe someone out there actually does find it incredibly hilarious that April O’Neil is getting her head impaled by Shredder’s gauntlets? How? They’re pretty much robbed of shock value, which is the only way I can imagine that they’d every be funny. Maybe the humor is in the mutilation itself? God, do loyal readers of Shadbase find the Holocaust to be a laugh riot, too?
Wait… don’t answer that.
Rating: 1 star (out of 5).