So as I ramp up to the 25th edition of Bin Fodder, just one month away, I think some tweaking is in order. First, as you’ve noticed I have abandoned my customary greeting and will be playing around with that until the unveiling of my new staple with the 25th article. Additionally, I’m going to be fiddling with the formatting of the articles as well. Now, with that all said, let me proceed.
Today I review BOOM! Studios’ first collected trade of Hero Squared. The book is written by the great team of Keith Giffen and J.M. Dematteis, whom I spotlighted in my recent Top 8 Comic Book Writers article (read more about them there). The artist, Joe Abraham, has not done much published work outside of his run on Hero Squared but he was clearly found money on this project.
Have you ever felt like you were meant for greatness? Have you ever looked up at the stars and wondered, “Where’s my Mjolnir? Where’s my Power Ring?” If so, then you have more aspirations than Milo Stone, the main character of Hero Squared. The funny thing is he’s a should-have-been hero.
It turns out there are parallel Earths, not original but still fun, and on this parallel Earth Stone becomes Captain Valor, the mightiest of all heroes. He’s half Shazam/half Superman. What I mean by that is: he was given his powers by the “old seer” who appears once every thousand years to bestow powers upon the chosen champion against evil. So he’s a fifteen year old boy with that simplistic view of the world trapped in the body of the most powerful man on Earth. The alternate Milo missed out on the opportunity to become Valor because, instead of going on the field trip to a museum where he would have met the old seer, he went to the movies.
It’s an original take on a non-original origin story.
Valor is thrust into Milo’s world because his own universe was destroyed. How? By who or what? Valor’s arch enemy Caliginous (a play on Caligula…perhaps) whose parallel version, Stephie, is Milo’s girlfriend.
Confused? It’s ok, the characters are too. When you read the title, Giffen and Dematteis do a great job of clarifying everything in a way that doesn’t make it seem like they’re treating the reader like a five year old.
This book has a lot involved in it, which, as anyone who has ever read any Giffen and Dematteis stories knows, this duo does a fabulous job of mixing the serious with humor. Often times this occurs in the same panel.
Valor is a man without a place. He’s a hero with powers in a world that’s never seen someone like him before. And, as is pointed out many times, his proclivity for violence is the root cause of the problems he thinks he is solving, but really isn’t.
Caliginous follows Valor to the new universe and is bent on destroying this world as well and part of her master plan is to kidnap Milo. It’s during this time that the book Valor and Caliginous tell their versions of what “really” happened during the destruction of their universe, leaving it open to interpretation as to who is telling the truth and who is just defending their actions.
Hero Squared is filled with jokes both subtle and uproarious, which makes it a treat for readers of all sophistications. This book was recommended to me by someone whose opinion I respect and I was not disappointed whatsoever. It is in that same vein that I recommend this book to you, my faithful readership with a rating of
I hope you’ve enjoyed this edition of Bin Fodder. Check back next week for the continued story of Hero Squared.
This is your Bin Fodder Guru Tim Blacksmith signing off.