Sunday, July 12, 2009

Comic Review: Hero Squared TPB Vol. 3 (Boom Studios)

Hero Squared Vol. 3 - Love and Death

In the third installment of Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis superhero satire, slacker Milo Stone and his parallel universe counterpart Captain Valor (also named Milo but whom is referred by their middle name, Eustace, much to his annoyance) continue sharing Milo's city as Eustace's universe was destoryed by Caliginous the Magnificent, his parallel version of Milo's girlfriend Stephie. In the beginning there was the discovery of Milo's superhero self, then the therapy session from hell and now comes an ending of Infinite proportions.

The story begins with Milo returning to his apartment after being abducted to Caliginous' Omniship and after catching the reader up with the first two volumes worth of exposition in a page's worth of panels while the news tells of a Captain Valor Killer being on the loose as Eustace had been involved in a citywide battle with an actor who'd portrayed his character on an Adam West style TV show that Caliginous had temporarily given super powers to. Meanwhile Eustace and this world's Stephie have grown closer together as she and Milo have slipped further apart, the fact that Milo slept with Caliginous didn't really help matters either.

While Milo sulks over his crumbling relationship, a Captain Valor from some Mickey Mouse reality comes to him for help only to end up being taken back to the Omniship by Caliginous and her servant Sloat but not before she agrees to a therapy with Milo, Eustace and Stephie. The four begin to talk things through until Caliginous decides she's had enough and takes Eustace back to her ship only to see a Corp of Captain Valors preparing for one final battle with the future of the Multiverse at stake.

I've read volume two of this series and instantly loved the dicotomy between Milo and Eustace who get on each others nerves like a 1/2 powered Odd Couple. What comic geek didn't think about a reality where they could be super powered heroes after finding out about the possibilities of multiple worlds? The Hero Squared series takes that premise and turns it on its ear showing the reader that not every fantasy lives up to your expectations. Hero Squared vol. 3: Love and Death is a great capper to this hilarious series which isn't afraid to laugh at itself and typical comic book stereotypes yet knows when to take a moment and let the gravity of the relationships involved take center stage. Giffen and DeMatteis, of Formerly Known As the Justice League fame, bring their patented humor to their creation and give each character an ending worthy of this much overlooked series.

Rudy T.

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