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Anti-Hero #6

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by Jay Faerber, Nate Stockman, Paul Little & Charles Pritchett

It only took a few choice words from Callum, Anti-Hero’s conniving low-life, to really get the attention of Paragon. Readers may have found themselves in a fit of justified elation when Liam smoked him out and cornered him about ripping them off. But a character like that somehow always finds a way to slither out of these situations and  in issue six Jay Faerber takes readers further into this corrupt story.

Henry, a.k.a. Paragon, continues to sink further and further ever since his true identity was discovered by Callum. Finally, though, Henry has the upper hand. With Callum wounded and bed-ridden, Henry is taking measures to level the situation. Faerber has done a fantastic job in creating Callum. Characters in this role are most effective when they are cunning and clever enough to not only corner other people, but even be a step ahead of the audience. Faerber manages this here with a simple device that is incredibly effective. It takes all the control out of Henry’s hands.

It has been amazing to see just how powerless Faerber has managed to make the superhero in this book. Despite the powers and abilities that Henry has obtained, he is unable to do anything to better his situation. It is frustrating. More importantly, it’s good writing and great storytelling. As the story progresses forward, Henry is losing more and more control over his own life and actions. Faerber avoids exaggerating the real-world dilemmas that a costumed hero might run into. Often, deconstructionist stories of superheroes play on hyperbole to make their point. Instead, Faerber keeps the scope and the fallout rather simplistic.

The art team on Anti-Hero continues to produce quality work issue after issue. Much of this chapter is made up of conversations. It is issues like this in crime-fighting books that really test the ability of the art team. When a majority of the panels are void of fights and filled with talking heads, pacing and layouts must be engaging enough to keep the momentum. Nate Stockman and Paul Little do well with this content, closing in and pulling out at the right moments to keep the pace and energy.

As the series has progressed, the concluding moments of each chapter have been great cliffhangers. Faerber creates fantastic teases on which to leave the chapter. Issue six is no different, and once more, readers will be excited to see just how this all plays out.

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