Posts tagged no more heroes
The second issue of No More Heroes is out and we once again return to the case of Dark Justice’s murder. For those who have forgotten the storyline, the comic includes a nice “previously” review to catch up. Then, we jump right into the next part of the plot. Or, rather, we’re back in history since we’re treated to a tidbit from seven years ago. It’s meant to serve as background on how Dark Justice and Black Fury got to know Jack Slaughter. He blew up a polar bear in the zoo, while kids watched. This guy’s not kidding around!
Black Fury was treating Sid to the story over a wire, as Sid sits inside the local bar as bait. The plan is for Sid to make it known that he’s looking to work some jobs for the local criminal element. Hopefully he can get an in with Jack Slaughter’s gang and then Black Fury can take him down. Good plan, but the execution was never meant to go smoothly. The bar patrons are criminal minions themselves and they’re laying odds on which super-villains will escape jail now that Dark Justice is dead and how many will end up back in the joint.
The storyline was going well and then we’re dragged back in time again, to three weeks prior. That was the last time Dark Justice and Black Fury took on Jack Slaughter and once again they failed. We also get a glimpse at a religious background on Dark Justice that wasn’t previously hinted at. It left me a bit confused, but I went along with it in the interest of the story. Besides, we get back to current times fast enough, so we didn’t have to dwell too much.
Back at the bar, Sid talks to a fellow criminal minion and tries to work his way onto Jack Slaughter’s payroll. Even though he’s warned that it’s a bad idea, Sid is being pushed to carry on. And then we’re back in time again! Really not a fan of these time jumps. Also not a fan of the religious overtones we’re getting with Dark Justice either. I don’t mind learning new things about characters, having the story unfold and surprise me, but heavy-handedness is never the way to go. We see Dark Justice brooding over losing all those kids in Jack Slaughter’s latest job and he’s drinking himself to death with his cross staring him in the face. Yeah, like I said, this felt like it came out of nowhere.
Finally we’re back to present time and I hope we’re done with the time jumps now. Billy calls to check on Sid and wants to know what’s going on. He had a bet going that Black Fury would put him in a cape and have sex with him. This clearly shows that Sid needs better friends. But he can’t worry about Billy’s issues now because Pieces, who is a direct connection to Slaughter, has come into the bar looking for guys to work a job. This is Sid’s chance! And when he’s given a test to prove his worthiness which includes shooting another man, I’m surprised that it’s Black Fury who is egging him on to do it. So, the superhero is the morally corrupt one? Sid resists and, even though he didn’t complete the task, Pieces apparently likes his spunk and grabs him as part of the crew. The job? It’s for Slaughter. Of course it is. And if that weren’t bad enough, Billy showed up in a car to track down Sid, because he’s aparently worried about his friend, but being in the wrong place at the wrong time means he’s now Pieces’ driver.
There were some bumps to my reading and enjoyment of this new part of the arc. First up with Caio Oliverira’s pin-up at the beginning of the issue. The proportions and distance between the table and the bar in the picture was incorrect, so it threw me out of the emotional involvement I was supposed to be having. The other issue was the never-ending time jumps. As I was getting into the current story, I got ripped back in time to seven years ago, three weeks ago, two weeks ago. It was too jumpy and thew me completely out of the story. So, with these issues in mind, would I continue with the next issue? Well, considering it’s only a four-issue arc then I guess I’ll stick it out, but if it weren’t a closed canon I’d be tempted to let it drop. Here’s hoping the problems won’t get worse.
Issue: No More Heroes #1
Release Date: March 2012
Writer: Gordon Mclean
Artist: Caio Oliveira
Colorist: Goran Kostadinoski
Letterer: Kel Nuttal
When I was approached to review this comic, the premise instantly appealed to me. I’m a big fan of superheroes, even moreso when they’re flawed in some capacity. In No More Heroes there’s a lot of flawed characters. First you’ve got Dark Justice, whose death kicks off the whole thing. A random nobody, Sid, gets a text message asking whether the mysterious person on the other end should commit suicide. Thinking it’s a joke, and egged on by his buddies, he says yes. Turns out, the superhero Dark Justice was on the other end of the phone. Thus begins the heavy weight that Sid has to carry. Did he really convince a superhero to die? The truth isn’t so straightforward. He gets tangled up with Dark Justice’s unnamed sidekick, who has gone off the rails after his boss’ death, and Jack Slaughter, a lowlife who is actually at fault for the death of the hero. The storyline is just beginning and we will have to wait and see how deep Sid gets pulled into it.
For a beginning comic, this was actually done quite well. I wasn’t a fan of the few times the panels were colored, which is surprising to me since I tend to prefer color comics over the stark nature of black and white. However, the simplicity of the color absence helps to heighten the storyline for me. And it is a simple storyline, though not simplistic. For almost the entire first half the plot is carried mostly by action rather than dialogue. That’s a sign of good visual storytelling and one that will serve the creators as they embark on a future in the industry. There were some rough spots, such as the diner scene. Focusing on the mouth seemed to be wasted space to me. The panels are better expressed when layering is present. And the dialogue, in certain scenes, was not as smooth as it could have been. That doesn’t endear it to a more mainstream audience, but since it’s targeted toward the independent comic industry the standards are a bit more lax. Despite these rough-around-the-edges bits, the overall comic has potential and I’m interested to see where the storyline goes.
Check out more on this four-issue arc at the official website and keep tabs on these creators. I think they have a positive future in the comic industry.