The greatest struggle creators have in the comics industry is often perceived to be being original; I would argue that it’s harder to creative with something people have already seen dozens of times but want to see again. I applaud those creators who are able to come up with truly original ideas for characters or stories, but much the same as in the movies there is a dearth of completely original work.
Take, for example, Superman: a character whom has existed since the mid 1930s and has appeared in hundreds, if not thousands of comic stories; how do you make that character original? Well…you could turn him into two divergent energy beings, naw…that’d just be stupid. But in all seriousness there have been several creators in recent memory such as Brian Azzarello and Greg Rucka who have been able to make Superman an incredibly interesting character whom readers were experiencing in a completely new way.
Hero is a new take on a well-known DC Comics story Dial H for Hero. Writer Will Pfeifer and artist Kano do a wonderful job in the first two arcs of establishing how this version will be different.
For one thing, it’s grittier. The first arc centers on a character named Jerry, a down-on-his-luck guy who spends the first three issues cowering in a phone booth talking to a suicide hotline about his pathetic life and why he should end it.
Pfeifer takes the reader through the real-life drama that would ensue from a regular guy happening upon a device that generates random super powers. We see Jerry, the protagonist of the first arc, through his failures, missteps and fears. It’s intriguing and enthralling; it makes you want to turn the page to see where the story will go next.
The second arc keeps it all-in-the-family as the device comes to successful businessman Matt Allen. Here we see how the nature of super powers can become completely all encompassing. He loses all focus for things not related to being the hero. His wife and daughter leave him, he loses his job, and is left with nothing…even the device has left him.
It continues as the device comes to his daughter and she uses it to try and fit in at her new school and make friends. Seems harmless, right? That is until things go awry.
Hero is probably the best recommendation for a read I’ve gotten to date for Bin Fodder. Keep sending them in and check back next week as I continue to review this series!
If you have suggestions for future Bin Fodder reviews, drop me a line in comments! Or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Till next Wednesday…