What Did I Learn?
Hero High is written by Dylan Edwards, art by Diego Simone, lettering by Ed Brisson and edited by Alex Cieslik. It is just what the title advertises – a high school kid by day, superhero by night. Sometimes these concepts are done in an overdramatic fashion, even taking into account the concept itself. You know; the biggest evil on the planet resides in your town and you, a high school kid, have to save the earth from being destroyed. Of course, you successfully do so in the first comic issue and with no help aside from your trusty super yo-yo.
I’m not against this type of story but I always wonder what kind of plot do you have to do for issue two? Stopping the corrupt school crossing guard’s plans is a now a bit of a letdown. Thankfully, Hero High is not like that.
Here’s the blurb: “It feels like the end of the world for 14 year-old Farley Flynn when his family moves from the big city of Dominion (an exciting place full of superheroes) to the small town of Meekton (a boring place full of nothing). His mother wants him to have ‘a nice normal life’ but Farley’s got a secret identity; he’s the skateboarding crimefighter known as Moondog! As he starts to snoop around, he discovers a sinister janitor, a fierce ninja girl, a flying robot and… killer ice cream men? One thing’s for sure, life at Meekton Consolidated High School is going to be anything but ‘normal’!”
The art is solid (cccccrrrisp pencils!) and the colors are fantastic. The dialog is perfectly natural, giving just a bit of exposition while showing character. The character types are really fun and I got a kick out of the character mix on both sides of their secret identities for a change. There’s a difference between having a valid secret identity and having to be a hero despite the ongoing soap opera. Note this, though: the entire story and the fight scenes are very well written and play into the kid crimefighter in a very fitting way. He’s not Spiderman caliber yet.
I’m definitely being too picky but my ‘overdrama’ sense tingles for something that is only foreshadowed in this issue of Hero High. I’m no spoiler, but it has to do with the number of superheroes in a little town away from the big “superhero capital” city of Dominion. See? I’m too picky. Someone remind me that it’s a superhero comic which is bound to be full of plot coincidences. After all, what are the odds that Spiderman’s villains always happen to go after Aunt May or MJ in a city with millions of people in it?
Overall, this Hero High is a very well done comic and I’d like to see it continue development into more issues. The creator, Dylan Edwards, did a few reviews with us on Comic Fencing and he’s pretty sharp about comics. I know he had hoped that we would eventually review Hero High over there but it was already on my list to review here, so things worked out.
Love that quick online comic reader, too. You can move the page around, float the text and zoom it up to you and other useful things. The ‘peel’ feature lets you pull back the word balloons, then the colors and even the inks. You can also see the pencils -including the smudges- if you want to. You can even look at story notes and get a little behind the scenes info. The graphic on the comic’s first page describes the most important features. These things all expand the online comic beyond what the print comic provides, so I’m hopeful we’ll see even more development of readers like this.
What Did I Learn?
Some bemoan the sheer volume of comics out there and despair that they’ll ever get noticed. It’s all been done before. While that’s true for the most part, it is still possible to bring a fresh look at old concepts like the school kid hero. You have to really understand them and how to make them work but it can be done. Likewise, to really get the full use of what the digital world can provide comic artists, we need to understand what it can offer and play to that. If you haven’t yet seen it, check out Hero High and then come back and comment about how picky I am.