H-E-R-O #21 Review

Reviewer: Mathan “Kinda Saddened” Erhardt
Story Title: Pieces of Hate: Part 3

Written by: Will Pfeifer
Penciled by: Dale Eaglesham
Inked by: Wade von Grawbadger
Colored by: Sno Cone
Lettered by: Phil Balsman
Editor: Peter Tomasi
Publisher: DC Comics

Last issue Robby Reed continued his recruitment drive for the group to battle the Dupe. He picked up Wayne from the Captain Chaos group. The Dupe also picked up someone; young Andrea Allen. So Robby called Andrea’s pop Matt, and let’s just say he didn’t take the news too well.

This issue picks up right where the previous one left off. Robby hangs up the phone, which he just used to tell Matt Allen that his daughter had been kidnapped. Matt immediately files to Chicago to get some answers. And he causes quite a scene when he arrives.

Meanwhile the Dupe is trying to decide what to do with Andrea. He wants to kill her, but Tony Finch persuades him not to, by reminding him that Reed and Wayne are still out looking for him. The Dupe keeps Finch in line by intimidating him.

Reed tries to talk some sense into an enraged Matt Allen. Of course a fight ensues. But eventually Matt agrees to help Reed, battle the Dupe and save his daughter. But the Dupe is crafty. Wayne, who stayed at the hotel, becomes the Dupe’s next victim.

Reed gives up. And even though the odds are against his daughter being alive, Matt presses on. He even manages to re-instill hope in Reed. The issue ends with Dupe about to kill Andrea, when five story tall Reed crashes his hand into the building and grabs him. To be concluded.

I’m a pretty big fan of Pfeifer. I loved his work on Aquaman and Swamp Thing. But this was probably my favorite book of his. He managed to instill such humanity in the characters that appeared in this book. Andrea’s innocence, the Captain Chaos crew’s hilarity, and even Jerry’s desperation all rang true to me. I was pulling for this book to succeed. Unfortunately it didn’t. I’m glad that he’s getting a chance to wrap things up. It was cool to get some hints about the dial, and about the Dupe’s lack of humanity. This was a very good issue.

I’ve been saying it for months, but von Grawbadger is perhaps the best thing to happen to Eaglesham. As a team, they are the tops. From Matt’s rage, to Finch’s franticness, they make it all look easy. I almost feel bad for the Dupe, because he looks so much worse for the wear, but that’s just part of their great artwork. I do feel bad for Wayne, that splintered door looked painful. Hopefully these guys will land on some great title when this book ends.