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H.E.R.O. #10

Posted: Thursday, November 20, 2003
By: John McGuire



“A World Made of Glass”

Writer: Will Pfeifer
Artist: Kano

Publisher: DC

Hero is a concept that by all means shouldn’t exist. From what I gather of the original Dial H for Hero series, it focused on a set of kids whom used the dial’s powers to help people (simplified version, I know). That kind of story is supposed to appeal to each of our desires to be a superhero, playing those games as we grew up. But for me, that seems like it could be a bit too cheesy (and very mid-eighties). Instead Pfeifer has been able to use it as a means of exploring how people might actually act when given power (much more of an up to date concept). Some might use it for good deeds, but certainly not all of them.

This brings us to Tony Finch’s story.

What you need to know:
Tony Finch is a former criminal who has stumbled upon the Dial. He has also discovered that dialing H.E.R.O. into it will bring him a different set of powers upon the dial's activation. For him this is the perfect opportunity to make good on a failed criminal career. He has hired a pair of goons and has returned to the city of Gotham to become the greatest villain of all.

This is part two of a two-part story, so it might behoove anyone thinking of picking up the series starting with issue ten to get issue nine as well.

The plan Tony has is easy enough. Heck, it is something that each of us has probably yelled at a comic as they are reading. Why leave Riddles at the scene of the crime? Why have some kind of odd gimmick that will give the hero of the city in which you are committing your crimes and edge on you. No, Tony has decided to do none of that. He hasn’t even got a villain name yet. But what he does have is a few successful crimes under his belt. And a secret in his past that he is desperately trying to forget.

HERO is a comic that allows its writer to pretty much go any direction he wants (which is certainly never a bad thing). So far we’ve seen what happens when a person allows someone else to get hurt while playing the hero. What happens when a person’s life is consumed by the power (meaning addictive). What happens when people use it for popularity? And that’s only scratching the surface. This to me is the reality of good writing. A concept that is so obvious, and yet no one grabs it.

Art wise Kano’s style is perfect for this book. It shouldn’t be about flash and tights (although certainly there are those moments). It should be about the people when they don’t have the power turned on. How it affects their lives. And Kano’s style is that. It’s down to earth, kind of gritty, and overall not flashy. It is going to contribute to the story, but it is never going to overwhelm the story itself (like the old Image comics did).

Should you buy this comic? On the plus side there is not a worry about it being on issue 10 and needing to get all the previous issues. Each story arc is probably 95% self-contained (and normally that 5% is showing you how the next person gets the dial). In fact, it is probably one of the easier books to get into. I, personally, would add one of the Marvel “previously” pages to catch you up on the Dial itself and you would be set.

So yeah, I’d say you should buy it.



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