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Hero Squared #1

Posted: Thursday, August 18, 2005
By: Jason Cornwell



"Getting to Know You"

Writers: Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis
Art: Joe Abraham

Publisher: Boom Studios


Plot: Milo struggles with the idea that Captain Valor, his super-powered counterpart from a parallel reality, doesn't look to be going anywhere. This also means that the evil Caliginous will stick around in this reality, as she has swore revenge on Captain Valor. Then Milo's apartment becomes home to a heated battle, and Milo discovers that Caliginous' latest evil plan includes kidnapping him.

Comments: This issue picks up where the one-shot left off, and fully realizes the potential of the idea that was only half realized in the one-shot. Yes, some of the humour is overplayed, as a couple of gags in this opening issue felt like Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis had stopped just short of milking every drop of comedic potential from an idea before they were ready to move on to the next idea. But any writing that is able to make me laugh out loud at the same gag over and over must be doing something right. A number of writers barely make me crack a smile in their attempts at humour. The simple fact is that the central premise of this series actually has some significant comedic potential, as how can one not love the way this issue plays up the odd couple interaction between the underachieving Milo and his super-impressive counterpart from a parallel reality? The exchange about the ever affable Happy Hunter is so hilarious that it rates right up there with the best material that Giffen and DeMatteis offered up during their time on Justice League. There's also some very funny back and forth interplay between our big, bad villainess and her diminutive sidekick, as how can one not smile during the scene where they are discussing whether Captain Valor was actually killed by the explosion. The issue also manages to inject some pretty effective moments where Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis show they can bring some more serious minded elements to the table. During little moment Captain Valor lashes out when Milo presses a little too hard with his questions about what happened to his relationship with Stephie, and this scene does lend an ominous quality to the final page moment. In the end this is a fun reading experience, and clearly, Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis haven't lost any of the magic that has made them one of my all-time favourite writing teams.

Joe Abraham has moments where his art looks a little rough around the edges, but for the most part he impressively captures the little visual moments. It's a little throwaway visual moment, but I loved the way that Stephie is seated on the couch on the credit page, or the little stretching exercise that she does when she gets up. The same holds true for Milo who is forever in his sullen pose, with his hands in his pockets, and I loved the little monkey man stretch move that he's making out his front door as he says goodbye to Stephie. The art even has the video game playing pose down, and while it's sounds like I'm making such a big deal about such minor details, the simple fact that these elements are there for me to comment on tells me more about Joe Abraham's artistic ability than any of the splashy, big impact images that he also presents in this issue. Give me an artist who knows how to pose his characters when they're not really doing anything important, and I'll show you a very good artist.



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