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H.E.R.O. #20

Posted: Wednesday, October 6, 2004
By: Jason Cornwell



"Pieces of Hate, Part 2"

Writer: Will Pfeifer
Artists: Dale Eaglesham (p), Wade von Grawbadger (i)

Publisher: D.C. Comics

Plot:
As Robbie makes contact with the only surviving member of the Captain Chaos crew, we see the super-powered killer uses the H.E.R.O. device to taunt Finch, as he allows the escaped criminal to make use of the device, so he can clearly establish that any thoughts that Finch might've had about challenging him for control of the device will not succeed. As young Andrea Allen is kidnapped by the crazed villain, we see Robbie recruits another former dial user.

Comments:
I'm slowly filling in the missing issues of this series, and frankly I'm kicking myself that I decided to jump on board this series during its final arc, as while I'm not operating under the delusion that the extra copy of this title that I would've bought could've saved this title from cancellation, I can't help but feel this final arc would have greater impact if I had been with this title right from the start. I will say that this final arc is clearly being written for the long-time fans, as essentially it involves all the former users of the Dial-H device being brought back either as victims of the super-powered killer, or as an allies of Robbie, who remains woefully inept in his efforts to stop this killer's murderous activities. There's also a nice little scene where we see the villain uses the device to spell out why his ally Finch should quash any thoughts of betrayal, though I will confess I didn't quite understand the relevance of the scene with the painting. I also rather enjoyed the scene where young Andrea Allen makes her return, as her stint with the Dial-H device remains my personal favourite largely because she never quite understood the scope of the danger she was in, and this element of the character is nicely displayed during this issue. I do wish the book would take a moment to explain why this killer is targeting the former users of the device though, as right now his motives are vaguely defined, which makes him a simplistic creation.

Dale Eaglesham deserves full credit for the sheer impact of the scene where we see what remains of the Captain Chaos crew, as a careful study of these panels acts as a truly unsettling display of violence, and it acts as powerful evidence that this arc's primary villain is seriously disturbed. The art also manages to nicely capture the sheer delight that Finch draws from his use of the device, as his look of greedy anticipation as he moves toward the device is a great visual, as is the opening shot of the costumed persona that he adopts. The art also does some solid work on the big fight sequence, as Wayne's use of a fork in his attack upon the villain was a wince inducing moment. The art also manages to deliver a powerful final page visual, as there's little doubt that Matt Allen is going into this fight royally ticked off. Also while the cover isn't exactly reflective of their encounter inside the book, I have to say I loved the cover image, and the dialogue balloon made me smile.



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