Writers: Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis
Artist: Joe Abraham
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
EDITOR'S NOTE: The first issue of Hero Squared will reach stores May 31.
Despite being the first issue of a second volume, now an ongoing as opposed to the previous three-issue miniseries, this felt more like issue #4. Granted, I hadnít had a chance to read the original miniseries, and thankfully this issue brought me up to speed on everything that had come before . . . it just happens to then continue directly from everything that had come before. Okay, that still may not sound like a bad thing, but it focused mainly on tying up plot threads from the previous series rather than beginning any new ones, and as a new reader trying out a new #1 issue, I felt somewhat neglected.
Milo is confronted by his alternate reality superhero self and guilt-tripped about having slept with his alternate reality supervillain girlfriend. Thatís what this issue is about, and thatís practically all that really happens. Oh yes, the confrontation does come, but the focus of the issue is the preceding conversation, and man, is it long. Fortunately, it covers a lot of ground: superhero hang-ups, alternate realities, responsibility, destiny, punching people and more. Still, when it comes down to a summary, not a whole lot happened.
Since conversations comprise the bulk of the issue, everything relies on the dialogue . . . and it disappoints. It follows the same quirkiness and bickering that worked so well on Formerly Known as the Justice League, but Hero Squared doesnít have the benefit of a large cast. Most of the conversations are one-on-one, and whereas a group conversation is likely to get muddled and misinterpreted and sidetracked on tangents, it doesnít flow that way in a direct two-person conversation. As a result, the characters constantly trip over their own wit and sarcasm and tangents that itís a relief they ever make a point at all. The quirk is still there, but itís wearing out its welcome. Time to get a new shtick, guys.
The art does a serviceable job for the most part, but the ending relies on silent panels to convey the events, and I have to admit to being absolutely lost by the odd expressions of the characters. It seems like the writers either know how to cram a page with circular drivel or leave the storytelling entirely up to the artist. Thereís a happy medium out there, guys. Please find it.
If you follow Giffen and DeMatteis to every project they write, itís possible you wonít be displeased at all with the beginning of this new series. But the casual reader deserves a much better introduction.
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