Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Michael Avon Oeming
DC Comics, May 2019 (as a collection)
RUNNING DOGS OF THE CAPITALIST SYSTEM used to designate characters who emulate the virtues of capitalism from the sidelines, like a dog running alongside a bus with a wagging tongue. In China the label was intended to be nasty, like Donald Duck getting called a prop for imperialist ideology by freedom fighters in fascist Chile in 1971, before America helped lock the place down a few years later to stop the chatter. I don’t mean that kind of blame, like nefarious counter-intelligence and overthrowing countries, rather something more ingenuous, in the intelligence embedded naturally in the images we make because we like them. No sense denying good reasons for liking money and capital, Uncle Scrooge and all, and likewise the power to zap people with explosive laser rays coming out of your body if some bad guy tries to latch onto you. There is a connection.
One reader of the first Takio appearance, by renowned writer/artist team Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming, reported his young daughter perked up when the action started and punched the air, crying, “Kung poo telekahneebis!” Close enough to the telekinetic laser blasts or whatever it is that comes out of Taki and her little sister Olivia after they were caught in a freak chemical accident, just down the street from me as it turns out. Yes, here again, my Portland neighbors are making strip headlines, where with great power comes, being able to stand on top of the Hawthorne Bridge like I have always wanted to do.
Quotidian comfort is the special blend Bendis brought to comics some time ago now, making daily life cool. Even after so much rebottling and rebranding, the style continues to refresh. Takio is probably best for folks who have kids, or want to remember being kids, squabbling, and growing every minute. The snapshot here shows how the heroes blend into the background of their lives for most of the story.
Once powers start seeping out of their eyes and nostrils, and their world changes, the girl Takio team suit up to take responsibility. They talk about training to control their powers, but end up bashing and hashing to save the day with big booms nonetheless. All solved. Like throwing money at a problem. No training necessary. Just make it go boom now. Assertion is idea enough. Such a world as this we create with adults in charge playing like children amazing us with their explosive powers: a natural consequence of the desire for freedom, where I speak and you bow. Money institutes it, and girl superheroes make it look cool.
[Thanks to Jim Mroczkowski for 2011 Takio notes.]