Well, Spring is just about here and that means one thing - it's tax time, time to fill out forms and find those reciepts and file just before the deadline. It's also time to complain bitterly about taxes, which is great while having a few down at the bar with the fellas, but should it be the basis of an entire comic book? More specifically, should there be an entire comic book complaining about a very specific tax? Do you think this would be a smart idea, or a stupid idea? Well sir, if it was a smart idea, we probably wouldn't be writing about it here.

And so here we have Captain Tax Time, a comic book about a blue striped guy and a silvery guy with a sword and a green fangface head and how they work to lower the millage rate and expand deductions for child care. Right?

You might wonder, is this a Canadian comic? Well, chances are if your comic book mocks Brian Mulroney, then yes. Mocking Brian Mulroney has been a proud Canadian pasttime since the mid 1980s and continues to this day. As we see here, in the 1990s Canada was governed by silhouettes and "mandarins" who sat around thinking of new things to tax.

And if you need a new tax, you just call the Finance Minister, who stands around talking to himself in his gigantic secret underground control room full of pipes and computers and TVs, all of which has to be paid for, hence the new tax, right?

Still not sure who he's talking to here.

Oh yeah, did I mention that all Canadian finance ministers undergo an evil metamorphosis? I didn't mention that? Well, they do.

Continuing our comic's theme of "characters standing around talking", our evil finance minister transforms while emoting to his faithful companion Claw.

Still talking! Got to make sure the readers know that there's this thing called 'taxes'. The government takes 'em! Takes 'em from YOU! The GST was an actual tax, the Goods And Services Tax. Mulroney had to use an emergency Constitutional clause to get the Queen (the one in England) to appoint 8 new Senators to get it passed. That fact is WAY MORE INTERESTING than watching some four-eyed creep melt into a hideous beast, but expecting a comic book about taxes to be interesting is too much to ask, I guess.

Canada, a proud nation of silhouettes and lines. We stand on guard for thee!

Here in Canada, the Finance Minister can turn himself into Gollum and go on national television to present himself as a horrifying, bald, warty Spock-eared monster, and nobody bats an eye. Canadians are nothing if not tolerant!

The silhouette patrons of the Silhouette Restaurant voice their mild disapproval - not at the hideous freak their finance minister has become, but at the prospect of a new tax. Well, I don't blame 'em.

And in the far north of Canada a mysterious figure lurks within his super secret science fortress and prepares for battle. You can't prepare for battle without a giant hidden fortress full of machinery and pipes located thousands of miles from the nearest civilization, you know!

Yes, it's Captain Tax Time, here to stop the growing burden of middle class taxes with his secret Arctic fortress full of pipes and machinery. Nothing says 'fighting taxes' like expensive, completely useless secret fortresses!

And using his amazing high-tech viewscreen, he calls his faithful ally Sergeant Saver. Can't just use the telephone like a normal guy, fighting taxes demands the most expensive equipment!

COMIC BOOK FUN: why not use a circular panel border? And just put those captions wherever you want. Your readers WANT to be confused.

Here's some real comic book magic: captions interrupted by dialogue, interrupted by captions, as a silhouette stands in the middle of speed lines and a masked and goggled face stands mute. I've seen comics that were hard to get into, but this particular story is DEFYING us to read it.

So the plan to defeat this new tax is to... beat up a lot of drug dealers, which would, in some mysterious fashion, transfer money to the Canadian budget. Which is absolutely not how it works, ever, but sure, why not, this is a comic book about super heroes, they have to beat SOMEBODY up, maybe we'll get some comic book action instead of talk, talk, talk alla time.

But no. All the exciting drug-dealer-beating-up action is handled offscreen in a caption. We don't want to over-excite our readers, you know! Meanwhile, look at some pretty pictures of buildings. They're curved!

The top criminals in all Canada - Baldy Mc Balderson, Pierre LaGreasy, Don "Eyepatch" Mills, and "Cueball" McGonigle - gather in their clubhouse to talk about the drug-dealer-beating-up that happened where nobody could see it.

"Meanwhile, above, two unsuspecting henchmen... stand guard. Suddenly, silently, out of nowhere." I see the William S. Burroughs Cut-Text Experimental Literature Machine is running smoothly!

FINALLY some super-hero leaping and punching action!

Why use one panel when you can stretch useless dialogue into two, maybe three panels? Remember it's about the JOURNEY, not the destination. We wouldn't want the reader to feel rushed or excited or entertained, now would we?

Here's the part where the Evil Goblin Finance Minister explains that the three billion dollars in cash that these criminal overlords brought to their meeting - wait a minute. THREE BILLION? Think about how much space THREE BILLION DOLLARS would take up. A stack of three billion dollar bills would be about, let's see, almost two hundred miles high. That's how much physical space we're talking about here, in a comic book written by a tax professional, whom one would think would be able to grasp large figures. Not filling me with confidence here, is what I'm saying.

Also, "adamantium" is a fake metal they use in Marvel comics and not a real thing. So there's that.

But their evil lack of math skills is rudely interrupted by, after twenty pages of talk talk talk, finally some super hero smashing thru windows to confront the evil villians action. Let's all stand around and stare at each other for another dozen pages, okay?

Canada is filled with pale, featureless, vaguely defined henchmen available for any and all dastardly assistance, including grabbing super heroes. Clothing is optional with these fellows!

And here we are on page TWENTY NINE of this exciting super hero comic where, finally, a super hero and a muscular bad guy exchange blows in a super hero fight. PAGE TWENTY NINE. I like deliberate pacing but COME ON.

Seriously, "Captain Tax Time"? The villain is escaping with the money and you can't even be bothered to draw a goddamn BAG with a goddamn DOLLAR SIGN on it? I wouldn't trust these people to prepare my Kraft Dinner, let alone my taxes!

And somewhere in the featureless void that is Canada, Captain Tax Time and The Grabber talk some more.

Unleashing his thermal radium blast Captain Tax Time blasts the Grabber and Claw with thermal radium energy which will not only defeat them but will also totally cause cancer, because, you know, radium. Luckily, their inevitable illness will be well treated by Canada's healthcare system which is paid for by... taxes. (sad trombone noise)

But no, his thermal radium blast didn't kill The Grabber. Because THIS COMIC CANNOT END EVER

So here's how you're supposed to read this page. Panel one is top left where the Grabber is grabbing Claw, that's first, and then they jump down the hole, that's the four panels on the right, and then you have to move back to the left in complete defiance of all Western cultural comprehension norms, and go down the page again as Captain Tax Time and Sergeant Saver discuss how exactly they are going to move the thousands and thousands of cubic feet of dollar bills (or Loonies! don't forget that!) from whereever they are to the nearest office of Canada Revenue. And then you have to throw this comic book against the wall in exasperation.

And hey! Masked super heroes can call press conferences in front of a strangely drawn Parliament Hill and the little dots that make up Canada's population will swarm around, happy that the GST has been defeated by two guys beating up drug dealers offscreen. The end.

Oh crap we still have one more page to fill. Here's The Grabber grabbing some alone time as he contemplates how he has a surprise for our heroes, and then there's an ominous look off-panel, and...

and that's actually The End. Well, here's a fun comic strip about how YOU can pick up extra money as a professional Tax Preparation Professional, courtesy Tax Time, with branches across Canada except for Alberta! You too can watch as people walk up to tax prep kiosks and say 'you two look like you're having fun' which, by the way, is a sentence that has NEVER BEEN SAID ANYWHERE NEAR TAX PREPARATION OF ANY KIND.

The actual real world GST was put into effect as a 5% sales tax, was later merged with provincial sales taxes to create what they call the "Harmonized Sales Tax", and what this means to the average tax payer is that you get reamed every April AND you get reamed every time you buy anything. On the other hand, nobody goes bankrupt paying for health care, so there's that.

And if you're wondering why a tax preparation business would be so het up about a tax, well, figure it out - a sales tax is a tax the average consumer doesn't have to file forms for, and won't need help filing forms for, and hence will never need Tax Time Tax Services for. And therefore is EVIL!!!