Reviewer: Jimmy Lin
Story Title: N/A
Written by: Erick Hogan
Penciled by: Jeremy Treece
Inked by: ditto
Colored by: ditto
Lettered by: ditto
Editor: Chris Stone
Publisher: Speakeasy Comics
In the modern world of superhero comics, a whole subgenre of “heroes dealing with unsavory elements of real life” has bloomed since Moore and Gibbons deconstructed the four-color monthlies back in the mid-80’s. Nowadays, the trend is towards comedy – witness Dr. Blink – Superhero Shrink and The Pro – and the results have been rather mixed. It’s a matter of comics fans becoming hipsters and vice versa – what used to be one-liners are becoming the focus of story arcs. Hero@Large joins the ever-swelling ranks with issue 1; the question is, does it deliver?
The story begins with Alpha Major (Defender of Liberty, Champion of Righteousness, etc. etc.) getting dropped by his agent. Apparently, being Megalotoplis’ oldest and greatest hero isn’t enough to move toys or get optioned, so his management drops him in favor Diesel, the latest hip-hop flava in super-heroism. In addition to this ignominious start of a day, he’s kicked out of the Justice Five, on the advice of the network (which runs a prime time show based around the team) and replaced with – you guessed it – Diesel.
Sounds kinda like the setup for Space Ghost Coast-to-Coast, right?
Well, a month goes by, and we see Alpha Major living in the projects, drinking too much beer, and wearing his uniform (a bit tattered at this point). Stopped in hallway by an abused kid, Alpha Major halts a perp from beating down on the kid’s mom, which in turn reminds him that heroism is independent of toy sales or network ratings. The mom patches up Alpha’s costume, and the final page of the book has him about to embark on a triumphant return – with the ass missing from the uniform.
So what can we say about this? Well, it’s clichÃƒÂ©d, trite, and extremely predictable – but somehow, it’s inoffensive in an aesthetic way. It’s actually kind of charming – Jeremy Treece’s cartoony artwork rounds off whatever artistic edges the story left around. It’s not the funniest book I’ve read, but I caught myself chuckling on a occasion. One thing to note is it’s absolute generic nature; the hero names, the lack of names of any actual characters (both the kid, his mom, and the beater are without designation), and the situation. It’s a book that doesn’t try very hard but somewhat succeeds despite its lack of narrative effort. Not bad at all.