Ever wonder where superheroes go when they retire? Yeah, I hadn’t either. But I do think it’s a great idea for a comic.

Luckily, Gail Simone and Neil Googe did think of it. Imagine Watchmen crossed with “Twin Peaks” with a little dash of Grumpy Old Men for good measure, that’s about what Welcome to Tranquility is like.

Tranquility is the small town where old World War II-era superheroes went to retire and raise families. Some have forgotten how to use their powers, others still cling to their past glory.

There are some great characters here: Mr. Articulate, the suave, sexually ambiguous spy; The decomposing Crypt Keeper-esque villain who spouts macabre puns; Emoticon, a gangsta whose mask always displays his mood in instant message-type characters; the squad of angst-filled goth superteens.

A great start for a series. In this first arc, including issues one through six, as well as the Wildstorm preview, one of the town’s heroes is murdered in broad daylight in a crowded restaurant, with no witnesses. It’s up to the town’s non-superhero female sheriff to solve it.

If Tranquility falters, it is in its sometimes unevenly shifting tones from parody to lowbrow comedy to straight violence. Some of the ideas also owe a lot to previous works, most obviously Watchmen – especially in the use of classic comicbook designs for flashback scenes. But it’s a fun book and a promising start for the series.

Grade: B

Welcome to Tranquility is currently available.