Thursday, 27 March 2014

Real Heroes #1 Review (Bryan Hitch)


New comic book day yesterday and I had a pile of stuff to read – lotsa Marvel, some Vertigo, Image – and looked through them to see which one I wanted to read first. I settled on Bryan Hitch’s Real Heroes #1 because it looked interesting and cool – it is Bryan Hitch, amazing artist of multiple titles - and a number one is usually a decent place to start. Little did I realise Real Heroes #1 would ruin my evening. I made it halfway through the comic before setting it down and not bothering with the rest of the comics in the pile (except Ghost Rider #1 which I did read for Tradd Moore’s art and was surprised at how much I liked Felipe Smith’s writing).

Real Heroes #1 is a shit-show. It’s a cliché-ridden, hackneyed attempt at writing which happens to have great art from Bryan Hitch. That he’s also the writer means that he joins multiple artists from Andy Kubert to George Perez to Neal Adams who tried being both artist and writer on a title and failed miserably in the writing department showing why great comics need separate writers and artists. There are exceptions of course but very rarely does a single person pull off the writer/artist combo successfully – and Hitch ain’t one of them.

One of the worst clichés in comics is the exposition/scene-setting via TV and/or radio reports. I’m absolutely sick of seeing this in comics and can’t stand it when this happens and that’s exactly how Real Heroes #1 opens. It also opens on 9/11 for one page before shifting – completely without any reference for “10 years later” which would’ve been useful, because it makes it look like in this world, the aliens are responsible for 9/11 – to the “present” which is an Avengers-type movie. Talk about awkward tone-setting!

So far, blandness prevails. Blandly designed superheroes fight blandly design supervillains in a bland cityscape – no stakes, no understanding of what’s happening, no reason to care about any of it.

Then we shift to the actors watching the movie who’re talking about back-end deals, and are busy schilling their crap for the cameras. There’s a “delinquent” actor who’s doing a groupie and drugs in a bathroom in a pitiful scene even Mark Millar would be rolling his eyes at and then the actors are gathering and talking about how much money their movies going to make. I couldn’t care less about anything that’s happened in this comic so far and all of the characters are loathsome cunts.

That was it for me. I stopped at that point, unable to go any further. I think it was halfway, it might’ve been just before the staples, but I knew I didn’t want to read any more of this drivel. And it’s a single issue comic! 30 odd pages at best, more like 20 something usually, and I couldn’t get more than halfway through.

Bryan Hitch is a good artist but he can’t write worth a damn. Real Heroes #1 is Real Crap.

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