By Bryan Hitch, Paul Neary & Laura Matin
What Real Heroes is, in a nutshell, is Galaxy Quest, with superheroes. Actors in an Avengers/Justice League-esque film are forced to become actual superheroes for another world.
The concept is interesting but it’s a little dated. The reader will be able to see what’s coming every step of the way, which is how this issue unfolds. Bryan Hitch definitely has a clear understanding of comic book conventions/tropes and the culture itself. The Olympians film in the book grosses the same amount as The Avengers, a character is named Chris Reynolds (Chris Evans & Ryan Reynolds anyone), and even some of the main cast look like actors in Marvel Studios’ films. This may be his way of grounding the story, but it just comes off as him trying to put winks and nods for the reader, basically plot fodder. What is interesting is how all the main characters are severely flawed, which would make for fascinating relationship dynamics and character development. If Bryan is able to take all these elements, flip them on their head, and delve into the characters that would truly make this comic outstanding. He has made the book self-reflexive and that’s great, but he does nothing with it…generic. There absolutely is potential with this comic, but Hitch just has to think outside the box a bit.
Now his illustrations are fantastic; he expertly draws character facial expressions, which is the bulk of the material. This is a dialogue heavy issue and Hitch was able to make the panels interesting enough to keep one focused. Laura Martin’s coloring and Paul Neary’s inking accentuate the work and make each and every panel pop! The artwork may not be able to save the issue, but it definitely is worth checking out.
This is was a disappointing debut issue, but there is promise within it. Let’s hope Bryan Hitch can find his voice and make this book memorable.