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Hero Killers

Posted: Tuesday, June 13, 2006
By: Kelvin Green



Writer: Andy Winter
Artist: Declan Shalvey

Publisher: Moonface Press


Saint Inc. are a sort of "Villains for Hire," employed to cleanse America's cities of a particularly troublesome pest: superheroes. But their most high-profile case to date may prove to be too much for even their talents.

I must admit that when I read the first few pages of this comic, I was a little disappointed to see the talented and inventive writer of Devilchild resorting to a superhero story, but that turns out to be a foolish preconception, as Winter and Shalvey produce a highly satisfying slice of comics entertainment. To say too much would risk spoiling some of the comic’s more effective moments, but if you imagine Grant Morrison’s Zenith mixed with the good bits of Mark Millar’s Wanted, you won’t be too far off.

Hero Killers is the first of a proposed series of one-shot stories, and both writer and artist make excellent use of the format, easily justifying the creative choice. The story is neatly structured, with good use of foreshadowing and a cracking final sequence that is guaranteed to stick in the memory long after the comic is put down. Shalvey’s is not a name I recognise, but he does a fine job here with great storytelling, particularly in the action sequences, and some good inventive character designs. There’s a slightly unpleasant rubbery look to the characters’ faces at times, but it’s just about feasible that I’m being extravagantly picky about that.

While I’m a big fan of Devilchild, I sometimes preferred the back-up strips, as they often displayed more enthusiasm and energy than the main feature, and that vitality is also evident in this one-shot. If the rest of the so-called “one-shot club” matches the quality of this debut release, and I see no reason why not, then Moonface Press should have a success on its hands.



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