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Hope: The Hero Initiative

A comic review article by: Sam Salama Cohén
"More than Hope"

Ok, so this is what happens to me lately. I am afraid to turn on the TV, read the online news, or even see the wrong tweet...all because I could be reminded that all we are shown on a daily basis is that chaos, violence, war, and hate seem to have taken over this tiny planet of ours.

Even comics jumped on the reality wagon long ago, building their big story ideas over wars, infestations, and fear . . . and though that fact might not have diminished the quality of the final product the readers are getting, it certainly doesn’t help getting their minds off of the tragedies of the real world, either.

Now let’s take a look back and rewind some twenty-odd years, to the time when I started reading comics. Even though I was unaware (because of my early age) of the details of the worldwide stuff going on around me, comics where my escape vehicle from reality; a place where the Red Skull would always get defeated, and Spider-Man would manage to take on three baddies even though he had that darned cold. Comics were a fast, imaginary, and colorful place that I grew to love.

Many things happened to me as I read the anthology Hope: The Hero Initiative--all of them unexpected and certainly welcome.

Emotions: Though there is a clear editorial message in most of the stories (due to the nature and purpose of the book--help the elder comic-book creators in need), each of the 26 stories that comprise this gigantic effort has its own rhythm, message, characterization, and way to get in touch with my most beautiful feelings. Yes, emotions like love, hope, friendship, recognition, and selflessness really reached me--perhaps in a way that no other comic has in quite some time.

I’d be embarrassed to tell you that I almost cried a few times, but I’m certain you won’t tell anyone.

Heroic Nature: Both you and I could be heroes, if we put our minds and wills to it. Heck, almost anyone could be, if only for the briefest of instances and for the strangest of reasons--as this Anthology so beautifully shows us.

However, one might tend to think that true heroes don’t get their fair share of credit; that they are forgotten like a piece of old history--which is a very important point that these stories explore through a variety of tear-dropping ways:
  • A dying young artist resurrecting an old and forgotten one

  • A Golden Age hero finding home again when he thought all lost

  • A superhero who, after long years of battles, comes back for his last fight

  • Or the touching, inspirational story that I’m sure a lot of people can relate to
Even in the shadows that oppress us with loneliness, forgetfulness, or the loss of inspiration, there’s always a light that will shine through, showing true heroes the respect, recognition, or inspiration they thought long gone.

This anthology tackles various kinds of heroisms--some of them unexpected, and the more welcome for that reason. A true hero is a small sparrow that risks its very life to save another, a sandwich that lends its support when its best friend is troubled, or a Samurai that faces death to save all his people and discovers that true friends don’t run away from the fight so easily.
Fondest desire: That this Anthology not only manages to provide the necessary help to our beloved creators in need, but also to grab you with the same intensity as it did with me.

You should definitely pick this one up the next time you go into your comic book shop. You’ll be doing yourself a big favor and, at the same time, you will become one more faceless, anonymous hero as you help give others the Hope they deserve.

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