Written and Lettered by Tony McDougall
Pencils and Inks by Martinho Abreu
Colored by Justyna Tunkiel
Being a mostly indie comic book lover doesn’t exclude me from the big two or the genre they have a stranglehold on, superheroes. Superheroes and the big two were the reason I started to read comic books and nothing pleases me more than seeing a new fresh take on the superhero genre.
Hero Killer pretty much gives away the premise in the name; it’s about a superhero killer. The premise might sound simple but after reading Hero Killer I found it to be much more complex in idea and a little deeper than I expected. As I said the premise seems simple but McDougall adds little subtleties that ground this comic in the real world. The story starts with NYPD detectives on the scene of a murder of a superhero. What grounds this book is the detective and her interaction with not only other detectives but with the remaining superheroes. Just because there are superheroes doesn’t mean it has to be fantastical and outrageous. The detective part of the story is worth wild and fun and I think it’s possible to do this story as a detective story and leave out the superheroes, but the addition of the superheroes is certainly a factor that makes this book what it is.
Abreu has an admirable style that is enjoyable and pleasing to look at; I feel like Abreu could be an artist on another superhero book from either of the big two. Abreu and McDougall make a huge statement right at the beginning with a grim murder scene that really sets the tone for the book and looks stunning in the process. The scene and the tone being so in sync is a sign of an excellent collaboration effort. Speaking of collaboration Tunkiel has done a commendable job at pulling it all together with color. Tunkiel took some of the opportunities afforded by the other team members and used some of the darker parts of the story to highlight the darkness with the colors. The colors start light and they actually match the tone of the book, Tunkiel uses shadows and an overall dark color pallet for most of the second half of the book that is dark and gets into the hero killing. The collaboration effort between all parties is excellent and their chemistry is prevalent from page one.