Husbands is the story of a newlywed couple’s doubts and fears after their quickie Vegas wedding. Instead of getting their marriage annulled, both parties decide to stay together to make things work out. While going through their wedding gifts, they stumble upon one that takes them on a journey through many fiction genres. In one issue, they are in a James Bond style universe. Then they go into a Riverdale style high school in another. Their journey ends with them learning the lessons they need to make their relationship last.
The only memorable part of Husbands is the main characters are gay. Brady and Cheeks are an out celebrity couple. Beyond that, there is nothing here. The story is by-the-number. Plotlines are immediately resolved after their introduction. Brady and Cheeks do not overcome any major obstacles. What lessons they learn are given to them. I would like them better if they struggled a bit more.
The only place where Husbands succeeds in its lampooning of gender stereotypes. In a straight couple story, the woman is nagging-but-understanding and the man is bull-headed-but-childlike. Husbands does not fall into that trap. Brady and Cheeks are strong and complicated characters and they deserve a better story. Without assigned gender roles, Brady and Cheeks feel more genuine and realistic than a straight couple in the same situation.
The low-budget feel of Husbands is disappointing. The premise deserves something bigger and grander. Not a Summer movie grand, but more like a HBO series. Some of the situations calls for greater effects and production values. Instead of indulging the premise, Husbands is content with being a single camera sitcom. The action never strays too far from Brady or Cheeks. If the pair splits up, they are instantly reunited. The story would have been better if the directing decisions matched the universe they are in.
The story is disappointing. Husbands has the same complexity of a children’s movie. The characters are never in danger and learn things too easily. The unique selling point, a gay couple and their marriage, is normal to me. Had I live in a place where homosexuals hide themselves, it might shock and appall me. But I live in California and I see weirder eating lunch. Also, I can’t judge the characters when I’ve seen a woman married an android.
Final Verdict: Negative
I freely admit that I am not the target audience for Husbands. If I were a child, it might have resonated better. If I were not a comic book reader, it would have felt better reading it. If the LGBT community was unknown to me, the comic book would have meant something more. Since I am an older comic book reader with gay friends and family, I found it kind of banal. But don’t let my reservations stop you from buying it.
Writer: Jane Espenson and Brad Bell
Artist: Ron Chan, Natalie Nourigat, M.S. Corley, Ben Dewey, Tania del Rio
Publisher: Dark Horse
Images attained from Darkhorse.com