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HERO #22

Posted: Monday, November 29, 2004
By: Jason Cornwell



"Picking up the Pieces, Conclusion"

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

Publisher: D.C. Comics

Plot:
As Robby Reed finally steps forward into the battle against the evil superpowered goon that was created by Dial H device, we see his efforts, while impressive, aren't enough to take out the villain. However, with the help of an enraged father, and his daughter, Robby's side is able to hold their own, but in the end the final blow that destroys the villain comes at the hands of another villain, as Finch activates his one power and destroys them both.

Comments:
The final issue of this series manages to exit stage left with the proper sense that this is the last opportunity for the book to remind readers why they should be sad to see this title fall to the cancellation axe. I mean this is a big, bombastic finish to what has been a wonderfully intense final arc, as Robby and company do battle with a Superman level character, and right up until the villain's defeat one is left with the sense that our heroes may not win this fight. In fact this issue manages to perfectly sell the idea that Robbie in spite of his best efforts is simply not up to the job of defeating this villain, as even his most impressive display of power was clearly not enough. The issue also manages to offer up a genuine surprising twist, as the scene where Allen attacks his own daughter to gain control of the device was a truly unexpected development, and it took me far longer than it should've to figure out that he was under the mental control of the main villain. Now the final solution was a little easy to see coming, and it was a little convenient that the one power that Finch picked up from the device was exactly what was needed to destroy the big bad villain. However, given this battle has been raging for the better part of six issues, and this was the final kick at the can, I'm willing to accept the abrupt nature of this finish, as the idea had pretty much been drained of all its potential. The final scene of the issue also does a nice job of bringing everything full circle.

Dale Eaglesham turns in a solid effort on this final issue, as it's an action heavy affair and he more that meets the visual demands of the material. From the opening credit page shot where Robby is burying the villain's head in the side of the building, to the aftermath shot of the battle, the art does a wonderful job of capturing the sheer impact of the material. Now the scene where Robby has one of his fingers burned off wasn't presented as clearly as I would've liked to see, and the helicopter rescue could've been more dramatic visually, but for the most part the art managed to hold up it's end when it came to keeping the excitement level high. The art also manages to nicely sell the idea that the villain has mental control over Allen, as the man's sudden eruption of violence against his daughter was a truly unexpected development, but the art nicely details why Allen changed from a loving father, to a crazed loon.



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