Greetings from your friendly neighborhood blogger, Scott. Here we are at blog post #1 and I’m thankful that you have decided to follow me. I’m writing my first post of substance to discuss the first four issues in the series H-E-R-O written by Will Pfeifer and illustrated by Kano.
Two days ago, I was probing into various series, looking for something to entice me into reading. H-E-R-O climbed slowly into my hands. I had heard terrible things about this book, but was always interested in the concept. That concept is taken from the original series called “Dial H for Hero.”
“Dial H for Hero is a comic book feature published by DC Comics about a mysterious dial that enables an ordinary person to become a superhero for a short time, by selecting the letters H-E-R-O in order. Each time it is used, the dial causes its possessor to become a superhero with a different name, costume, and powers.” – Wikipedia
You can read all about the history of the series here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dial_h_for_hero
So I began reading H-E-R-O and found it VERY enjoyable! It starts with the main character, Jerry Feldon, going on a long rant about how depressed he is and the origins of said depression to a suicide help line operator. I thought that this was an interesting and intriguing way to begin. If you know that this is going to be a super hero book, you can’t help but wonder why the ordinary joe, blessed by powers, would be so depressed. I found myself identifying with Jerry from the start and ultimately throughout the book. Whether he is super-powered or not, I found myself being empathetic towards him. At times, nearly all of the time, Jerry is more awkward when powered up than not and actually fails more at being a superhero than he did at just being a normal guy. There were three key moments that really stood out to me in this book. This may be a spoiler to you if you have not read, so stop reading now and continue later, post-reading.
- Afterburner gets tore up from the floor up: When Jerry transforms into his first super hero alter ego, he instantly realizes that his name is “Afterburner.” Afterburner is large and muscley and can fly. Jerry swoops in and stops a tragedy by saving a kid on a bike from a drunk driver in a semi. Instantly feeling invincible, he swoops in to stop the semi using his “perceived invulnerability” and gets destroyed complete with internal bleeding! I mean, he was all big and muscley and super strong, so he thought he was impervious, but I guess that he thought too quick. As he lays out bleeding in the grass, he barely can hit the hero dial to transform him back. Lesson learned.
- Jerry calls Molly: Simply said, Jerry is horribly nervous when trying to call Molly, the girl he works with, for a date. Jerry has to power up to gain confidence. I think that this was a great stride to make Jerry human to us. Who wouldn’t want to hide behind something bigger than them when embarking on an adventure to court a new love? This is one of my favorite moments in any comic that I have ever read.
- The End?: The end of the comic book shows Jerry working at the very same suicide hotline that he had called in to. In the background, we see a picture of him with Molly looking happy. I believe that what Will Pfeifer is trying to convey is the idea that Jerry is far more heroic when he’s just being himself. I loved this happy ending in a sappy kind of way. Sometimes, things in comic books are realistic and harsh, but a happy ending just makes you feel good.
This comic book was interesting and kept my attention all of the way til’ the end. The characters, as I said before, are easy to relate to. The story isn’t necessarily “action-packed” and if you read comics just for EPIC fights, this will leave you disappointed. Reading it was sort of introspective for me. Unless you have always been the coolest most popular kid, Jerry Feldon works as a kind of mirror to how we feel. Emotionally this book was gripping and you find it leaving you with good feelings and making you want to be yourself. I really enjoyed it and would love to hear your comments after you read it. Thanks again.