Seaguy By Grant Morrison and Cameron Stewart
Vertigo Comics, 104 pp., $9.95
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Referencing Death in Venice, The Seventh Seal, and Mr. Ed (in just the first 10 pages), Seaguy places its eponymous hero in a brilliantly realized society of treacly corporate benevolence that frees its citizens not only from crime but also from deviance and personal aspiration, causing this brave but befuddled do-gooder to lament to his sidekick, a levitating, water-loathing tuna, "All the heroes are gone, Chubby. . . . There's no more need for them," even as he embarks on a quest to expose the Mickey Eye corporation's nefarious web of theme parks (crowded with bipedal eyeballs cheerfully abusing visitors), lobotomizing TV reruns, and factory trawlers disgorging the world's first artificial living foodstuff ("The last thing you'd want is for it to start thinking for itself, right?" sneers an evil suit as Seaguy fights to free the fast-evolving Xoo, winning brief sanctuary amid the righteous madness of Easter Island totems puffing gargantuan Marlboros with James Dean insouciance), all this confirming that the readerand perhaps all of humanity, in its eternal quest for meaningmust empathize when our hero, awarded a golden dickey by the jackal guardians of an Egyptian tomb secretly constructed on the moon, mutters, "This is quite an honor . . . even if I have no idea what's going on."