Obscurity of DC Presents: Ultra-bscure Book Club, Week 39 (September 10-September 16) — JACKED!

Welcome, @ObscurityofDCClub and other members of the DC Community! Welcome to Obscurity of DC’s thirty-ninth Ultr-Obscure Book Club! This week, we’ll be focusing on…


Number of Issues: 6

Synopsis from dcuniverseinfinite.com: Eric Kripke (creator of Supernatural) teams up with Vertigo veterans John Higgins (HELLBLAZER) and Glenn Fabry (PREACHER) to bring you a very Vertigo take on the modern superhero in this six-issue miniseries. Josh Jaffe, a neurotic family man mid-midlife crisis, buys an online “smart pill” to increase his focus and jolt him out of his slump. But to Josh’s surprise, the pill gives him incredible strength and power-but its cost is that it’s extremely addictive. This irreverent and brutally realistic story examines both the mighty highs and humiliating lows of being a real-life superhero.

Now that that’s over with, here are some discussion questions:

  1. Jacked explores the theme of the consequences of using a superpower-enhancing drug. What are your thoughts on how this theme is portrayed in the series, and do you find it relatable to real-life issues?
  2. The protagonist in Jacked undergoes significant personal changes due to the drug. How do you think this transformation reflects the idea of power and its impact on individuals?
  3. One of the central questions in Jacked is whether the protagonist’s newfound abilities are a blessing or a curse. What’s your opinion on this dilemma, and how would you have handled the situation differently? Explain.
  4. Let’s discuss the moral implications of using superpowers gained through external means like drugs. Do you think this concept is explored in a thought-provoking way in Jacked? Explain.
  5. The tone of Jacked can be quite dark and gritty. What do you think about the choice of tone in this series, and how does it affect your connection to the characters and their struggles? Explain.

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  1. To a sense, I think the realistic take on withdrawals from nausea, hallucinations, and vomiting, are pretty consistent with this grimy and grounded take on a superhero.
  1. Initially it’s a good change at least for his confidence as an man and person. Once he starts taking Jack, he begins to showboast a jerk at a baseball game and is a better husband for his wife. But Josh’s confrontation with a gang and the dangers he put his family show why this sort of idea of power is bad and dangerous. We see even the villains in this story possess that kind of attitude, so Josh changed toward the end was him confronting that toxicity and ending it by being the best of himself and not what others think.
  1. Similar to my previous answer, Josh is not particularly keen on abusing his powers but it does have benefits for him to use it frequently. Beside the after effects of the drug, which are painful. Jack also affects Josh’s family with his wife worried about his well-being and how Jack attempts to protect his usage from his family. It doesn’t benefit Josh lifestyle, but for someone whose trying to intentionally hurt people and wants to feel empowered. This curse for Josh is her second chance.
  1. It’s honestly hard to say. If drugs like Jack exist I think I would hate it. Although I think the circumstances are entirely different if that drug like Jack which was made by a delusional drug dealer are more dangerous than someone who has proper knowledge in pharmaceutical drugs for safer uses.
    (Of course history has showed us that companies like Purdue are making drugs, they don’t care about safety.)
  1. It’s like Boys in being a more gritty take on superhero culture, however Jacked is also more sincere on what makes a hero. Honestly while I hate a series with a tone like this, i think Jack is a more interesting story than other subversive Superheroes stories like this. It’s still about being a hero, but in a way that doesn’t involve powers, so I enjoy that aspect very much.

Amazing answers!