cover image Husbands


Brad Bell, Jane Espenson, and various. Dark Horse, $14.99 (112p) ISBN 978-1-61655-130-8

Husbands is an online sitcom about what happens when two mismatched guys%E2%80%94an all-American baseball player and an out-there actor%E2%80%94wind up hitched after a drunken fling. They don't want to hurt the cause of equal marriage rights by getting divorced, so they stay together and learn more about how best to love each other. Although this spin-off collection is written by the series' creators, Jane Espenson (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and costar Brad Bell, none of the show's charm or humor carries over. The hardcover collects six Web issues, each in a different comic genre%E2%80%94a superheroes story, a fairy tale, a Victorian mystery, science fiction, an Archie-type high school story, and a spy adventure%E2%80%94laden with gay innuendo. The show's makers apparently thought they could satirize the stereotypes of comic books by throwing their characters into each in turn, but the result is flat and discouraging. It feels like talking down to fans while wasting the show's cast and brand name, since everything we know or want to know about them is meaningless here. A comic continuing the adventures of the husbands would be welcome; this disappointing mismatch, in contrast, won't entertain either show viewers or comic readers. (Apr.)