Bryan Hitch is an incredible artist. Having his name attached to a new series about Hollywood superheroes taking on their roles in real life is enough to get anyone interested.
Having him script the series, however, is a completely different matter. Not only is this his first writing credit, but there have been plenty of examples in the (recent) past where amazing artists weren’t able to translate their amazing abilities on the drawing board into the organization of words and plotting.
Will Bryan Hitch’s dynamic pencils be matched by a fantastic story… or, as we’re fond of asking around here, is it good?
Real Heroes #1 (Image Comics)
R-rated, turbo charged version of Galaxy Quest.
The story opens on 9/11, where a young boy named Chris Reynolds watches the tower where his fireman father was fall to the ground.
Things abruptly switch to a (incredible) splash page of him as an adult, fighting
the Grey Hulk a giant space alien.
“Your potential for trademark violations do not scare me, foul creature!”
He is later joined by more deadly foes, along with his courageous team of super powered allies known as The Olympians. During the gorgeously drawn super powered smack down, all the characters spout more than enough exposition and play-by-play to clue the reader in that we’re actually watching a movie.
We then get a chance to see the actors who played The Olympians, all representing various Hollywood stereotypes (with Chris’ very genuine and real heart appearing to be the exception).
As the movie premier event continues, a giant robot from the movie appears next to the TCL Chinese Theater. Everyone believes it to be an incredible prop to help promote the movie, but you can probably guess how that turns out.
“You cannot defeat me unless there are other marketable characters by your side!”
While the giant robot lays waste to Los Angeles, a mysterious man comes and leads the fleeing actors to what appears to be safety. Instead, however, they end up in another dimension where 9/11 brought a very different (and otherworldly) enemy to America’s doorstep. Now it’s up to The Olympians to play their roles for real for the sake of both our universes.
Is It Good?
When a superstar artist decides to try their hand at writing, there is a bit of an unfair expectation that it should be just as great as their pencils. Unfortunately, the artist/writer combination can very often fall short of the mark.
In Hitch’s case, however, we have an opening chapter that, from a story telling standpoint, gives us another story option besides TOTAL GREATNESS and ABSOLUTE FAILURE. It’s… well… pretty good.
The concept isn’t earth shattering (once again, Galaxy Quest), but Hitch adds a neat twist near the end to make it a bit more unique.
The characters are all pretty cliché, but their dialogue and reactions to various situations are very well handled.
And as expected, the art is out of this world.
This all leads to a very enjoyable opening issue that, while feeling more than a little derivative, also has plenty of potential to go in some interesting directions. Hitch also proves that he is capable of scripting a large cast of characters, giving each of them very distinctive (but still very predictable) voices. If anything, he’s more than earned the readers’ confidence to come back and see what he does with the second issue…
…and even if it turns out not to be good, rest assured it will still look great.