If superheroes didn’t exist, we would have to invent them*
There is something to be said about the anonymity of putting on a mask and going out to not just fight crime, but right wrongs, vanquishing evil, or simply bringing justice to those who need it most. That is the waking dream of Sofia Escala. As a young girl, Sofia came to believe not so much in heroes, but in superheroes (hey this is America, we do everything on a grand scale here). So, yeah, like the rest of us “Heroists” she had dreams of donning spandex, a cape and cowl and then go out to right wrongs. Only this is the real world, and that didn’t so much happen. What she wound up doing is (at the insistence of her very practical mother), go off to law school and become an Assistant DA in New York City. Unfortunately, instead of fighting actual crime, or bring justice to those that really needed it, she wound up as something of a janitor, that is to say, dealing with parking tickets and low-level “criminal” activity that no one (even the victims) actually cared about.
Welcome to Vanessa Verduga’s very entertaining and thoroughly entertaining live-action web series. Here, Verduga transforms herself into the heroine Justice Woman. By day, Sofia (Verduga) is an Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan, by night she and her best friend Robert Gallion (Lee J. Kaplan) who is also an ADA deck themselves out in leather and become Justice Woman and her faithful sidekick Roberta (Robert is gay, and something of a cross-dresser). The online dramady pits the dauntless duo against a variety of thugs in both dramatic and humorous episodes (our favorite has Justice Woman facing off against a villainess named Darkstar in what has to be the hallway of a hotel, as the two circle around each other looking for an opening they keep interrupting the (non) action by complimenting each other on their outfits and accessories. Then we hear a baby cry, and the villainess begs off, stating that it is feeding time, so the two pull out their PDAs and try to schedule their next bout (“no, I've got Mommy & me.” “Sorry, court date.”) When they finally settle on a date, they start to move off, when Justice Woman stops Darkstar and inquires after pics of the baby, which Darkstar promises to bring next time.
Seriously, how can you not love this stuff?
The series has been online for a while and has just recently entered season two. Verduga has also recently produced a very entertaining comic book illustrated by Brooke Thompson which relates the story of how a very young Sofia and Robert met and got set on the path of becoming superheroes. The series is something of a “dramady” giving us real-world concerns while wrapping it in a lighthearted vein. Recently Verduga has been making the rounds of comicbook shows in the New York area and will be appearing at the Bronx Heroes booth at this month’s New York Comic Con. Needless we strongly urge anyone who (like us), enjoys their heroes (both in print and live and in person), to check out Verduga’s website, and if you are planning on attending the NYCC show, (Oct. 10-13) to stop by Ray Felix’s booth and check her out!
*With apologies to Voltaire.
Robert J. Sodaro has been writing professionally for some 30+ years. He came of age not only watching TV, but reading comicbooks and going to the movies. Subscribe to receive regular articles and reviews about TV programs.