Exclamation: ďBe afraid; be very afraid, for here comesÖThe Fiancee!!Ē
Explanation: Last issue saw Jack King don the Hero costume again. It also saw the return of David Day, the first Hero, and the entry of the next big-bad, Saul Simian. This issue has two more newbies join the Hero By Night cast. While Day is still at the Shady Acres Retirement Home, Jack (as Hero) and Saul do meet and trade a few punches. Elsewhere, Jack tries to be the hero the people regard him or rather the wearer of the Hero costume as. Moreover, if the trashing he receives at Saulís hands isnít enough, Roz finds about his still continuing as Hero, before he has a chance to tell her himself. Things look rather bleak for Jack, both in costume and out of it.
Examination: A bit of information for the uninitiated Ė this isnít the first Hero By Night issue to bear the #2 numbering but the second. The first time was in last yearís three issue mini-series with the same title. Still, even though their names might be similar the two Hero By Night issues have had a lot of time, time and character development take place between them. And though I wonít get into details regarding the miniís issue, I will point out that both issues have Jack getting the beat down from the bad guys. Thanks to the ring this issueís beating, even if it is at the hands of the monstrous Saul Simian, is much more bearable for him. Another rogue/villain of the original Hero, it doesnít take Saul long to discern that the inside the suit isnít the one he fought all those years ago. Suffice to say he isnít at all happy with this revelation something made more than clear by attitude and comments towards Jack.
As for why Saul attacked Jack in the first place and why he is going to do it again soon (as made more than clear by the ending), not much luck on that front. The identity of Simianís customers/cohorts/masters is still a mystery. Same is the case with the well dressed Doctor Naware visiting the aging David Day. Both new and old readers will be confused about the identity of this person. For them I suggest the Hero by Night: Prequel Journals available online at http://www.herobynight.com. There they will be able to learn, amongst other things, about Doctor Naware or rather Doctor Nowhere but also the origin of Saul Simian. Although the Journals are interesting read, necessitating having to read them is a story negative in my book. Never a very good idea this is definitely something I donít to be doing in a relatively new series. It would have been better if Platinum Studios had just published the journals, something that I think they just might do in the future.
Still, the negative(s) of the story arenít nearly big to pose a threat to its positives.
Visually, DC Coffman and Jason Embury bring to Hero by Night a semi-mature semi-comedic look. Mind you comedic is not the same as cartoonish. The characters are drawn with realistic enough physical features, but with an element of humor not found in many superhero titles, and almost never in the current titles from the Big-Two comic publishers.
Proclamation: Although not quite as strikingly original story as the mini, the Hero by Night ongoing is shaping up quite nicely.
You can find more reviews by Bruce Logan at http://www.xcave.net
What did you think of this book?
Have your say at the Line of Fire Forum!