Juicy Reviewer Presents: Real Heroes #1-3

COMIC-BOOK REVIEW: “Real Heroes” is created, written, and drawn by Bryan Hitch (The Authority Vol. 1, Reborn). On opening night of the biggest blockbuster of the year, the actors of the hit film “Olympians 2: Devastation,” are abducted and take to an alternate universe when an actual villain from their film appears and kills several. In the alternate universe, these actors realize that there were real Olympians who looked exactly like them. They tried to save the world, but all fell to the diabolical Brainchild. These actors who portrayed these iconic heroes are asked to pick up the mantle and finish what the real heroes started.

Before I begin my review, I wanted to thank Vintage Bullet for allowing me to appear on his site. It’s an honor, and I hope this review meets his standards. Anyway, “Real Heroes.” I was asked to review this by Vintage Bullet because of how I critique films over at my site, Juicy Reviews. The comic deals with actors becoming the heroes they portray, and with my movie-loving background, it seemed like a good read. In fact, the premise was promising. Unfortunately, the execution was not. This book basically rips from several other comics and characters to formulate its own story. Although all comic book writers get inspiration, Bryan Hitch literally copied several things, leaving me with an unoriginal, and at times bland, story. The first issue of this book was excruciatingly difficult to get through. It was the foundation of our characters, and who they are. It’s all origin stuff, which is the way to go when beginning a story, but the fact of the matter is, I don’t care about these characters. All of them are basically caricatures of any dilemma you can find in comics. You have Chris Reynolds (If Ryan Reynolds and Chris Evans has a son) who lost his father in 9/11, which sad story, but is barely touched on throughout the comic until the last issue, which I did not read because it costed money, and no way was I paying. Another character is an alcoholic, drug-using playboy, whom I cannot remember the name of (I only know three character names). We have all seen this guy before, but in different stories. What makes him different? Absolutely nothing. But it is him and Reynolds who are the only developed characters of this hollow series, so I have to make due with what I have. Once these characters are shallowly established through news coverage, which is an incredibly long and tiresome read, we are presented with our issue. From that point, our “heroes” are thrusted into a world like no other (or like all others?). I did not read the fourth issue, but I could pretty much guess how some things would go down just by the way the third one ended. I am not going to spoil anything, for those who actually want to read this, so I’ll just state a few points that should tie this review together. Let’s start with some pros, and by some, I mean very few. The artwork, although rather basic most of the time, was good. I liked the coloring the most and some page spread pictures were neat to look at. Within the story, there were some nice scenes to read. Not many, but enough to get me to read on. One example would be when the action actually starts in the third issue. It can be stupid at times, but I have to admit that it was fun. Now that those pros are out of the way, I’ll list the rest of the issues. First up is the awful villain, Brainchild. That name alone should tell you how bad he is, and not the good bad. He is a useless foe, not doing anything menacing to our heroes. To top it all off, he looks ugly. I know I shouldn’t be bashing on looks, but the guy looks completely idiotic in design. Heck, he isn’t even a child, he’s a grown man, so what’s the point in the name? Secondly, there are some plot holes in this story. I can’t really name any since it would spoil the book for those who want to read this (I don’t know who would), but I’ll list one: who came up with the story of the Olympians? If there were real heroes of these guys in an alternate universe, how could they be movie characters in this one? Someone would have had to come over here from that side and make the film. Lastly, there are many slow and stupid moments that lie in this book. One example would be how our drug-user hero is caught with some cocaine in the locker room. One guy tells him that he shouldn’t take that stuff, even trying to give him a pep talk. The druggie keeps declining and ignoring what he says. This goes on for about two pages. Not only that, but when his conversation with him ends, here comes Chris Reynolds talking to him about how he shouldn’t take drugs, costing us a few more pages. I get how Hatch is trying to develop his characters, but it is done in a sluggish and unnecessary way. In the end, this comic could have been so much more. It had a promising premise, but it was executed horribly, leaving me with a bland and unoriginal adventure. I don’t recommend anyone to waste their time on this.

FINAL SCORE: Rubbish

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Vintage Bullet Presents: Real Heroes #1-3

I return to Vintage Bullet and with the first year passed it’s time to ramp up the reviews. And today we’ve got a twofer for you. This is the first guest review on the site. Joining us today is the Juicy Reviewer and we will be reviewing Image’s Real Heroes.

Real Heroes presents with a world where the biggest name in superheroes are the Olympians. At a premiere party for the movie a Devastator from the movie attacks the actors. They are dragged away to another universe by a guy named Smitty, or Smith they aren’t consistent on that. In this universe the Olympians were real, but were killed by the Devastators and their leader, Brainchild. Smitty tells the heroes that they have been chosen to save his world by taking up the most important roles of their lives, the Olympians.

It’s a pretty good premise I admit. Fake heroes make the jump to real heroes to save the world sounds like it could be fun. This book crumbles though under a torrent of bad writing, cliches, and pacing problems. Most of the first issue is showing the characters inside of the movie, where it’s intentionally supposed to be cheesy and bad. It’s directed by Josh Trank so that doesn’t surprise me. The rest of the issue introduces the actors, but puts them in a situation where they are acting for the public, so they are smiley and come across as fake. This is definitely the intention, but it grinds the plot to a halt and doesn’t give the characters any real definition. The only two of the actors to get any characterization are Chris Reynolds (Ugh) and Danny West. Chris Reynolds lost his dad in 9/11 and you can see by the scene where’s calling his mother he worries about her. That’s the best characterization you get. Danny West is an annoying drug addict who drinks and does cocaine while he’s yelling at and insulting everyone else.

Once they cross over it doesn’t get any better. Plot holes keep digging their way into the story and it all falls down. Speaking of falling down, that’s most of the third issue. They fall out of some super special base that they hype up for a while and spend the whole time screaming obscenities and to god. They all get split up, which does not bode well for the future as these characters can not hold up on their own. The villains are so strong it’s unreasonable to think that any of these “heroes” can stop them at all. When they’re not being boring the “heroes” are straight up unlikable. They don’t care at all about helping people and care more about going home or in Danny’s case, drinking.

I only have two pros, but even those come with caveats. First off the art is good. Hitch is an artist so naturally he nails this. His splash pages are great and especially the pages of the city. Even so, the character designs are uninspired, where most of the characters have downward pointing arrows taking up the bulk of their costumes. My other pro would be the villain, Brainchild. I know the Juicy Reviewer will disagree with me here, but I liked him. In comparison to the “heroes” he actually accomplishes some stuff and has an end goal.

I could rant endlessly about the plot holes and the numerous questions I have but I also want to keep spoilers to a minimum. I’m just going to rate this thing and pass this over to the Juicy Reviewer.

Writer: Bryan Hitch

Artist: Bryan Hitch

Rating: Rubbish