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Image Comics Review: Real Heroes #1 – Spoiled

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Real Heroes #1

Bryan Hitch


I will most certainly be SPOILING!

For the common comic book fan, our heroes become important to us. We share their journey, spend our money on their comics, and find ourselves eagerly waiting for the next chapter every month. When they step out of the page and onto the silver screen, it breeds a kind of hero worship that draws us even closer to the fantasy.

Real Heroes is a comic about the reality behind those movie masks, and how well you could trust those actors to be your hero. We open up on a young Chris Reynolds, the character who is not only the main character of the story, but the leader of the fictional super team, the Olympians. Long before he becomes a super actor, Chris is engrossed in the events of 9/11, losing his father as the first tower falls, and setting the foundation for a good man.

The reader is then treated to a fight scene from the movie Olympians 2: Devastation that should very clearly remind you of the end of the first Avengers film. The majority of the characters should also remind you of the Avengers, if not from the movie, then from the comics.

The story is framed by the coverage of the new movie’s premier, where we are treated to both the public face of each character and, when the private face isn’t the same, we get to see that too. Our reformed drug addict, who plays the patriot, is far from reformed and the woman who plays the tiny titan, Jennifer Sanchez, is leveraging her supposed size-changing powers to sell a book about weight loss.

Apart from all of the obvious media grabbing, none of the characters, save Chris Reynolds, seem particularly heroic or otherwise. As with any group, there seems to be some interesting dynamics relationship-wise, a bit of enmity and forbidden attraction. The cast sucks it up and walks out on stage, for “smiling pictures.” In the midst of the red carpet display, an ornate PR stunt impresses the crowd and cast alike.

That is right before it opens fire on the crowd.

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In shock, quickly sliding towards panic, the crowd explodes into movement. Everyone runs in every direction, including the Olympians cast, struggling to escape the horrible death rays of the supposedly fictitious robot. The robotic death machine gives chase, collapsing a wall to follow.

A passing security guard tells everyone their cars are waiting out back, and leads them into the theater, even unlocking the back door for them on the way out. With the electronic executioner still hot on their heels, the would-be Olympians shove their way blindly through the backdoor.

And into an alternative New York.

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After explaining the situation to them, the security guard reveals that he has lead the team to this world to take up their movie roles and be this new worlds superheroes. The overall mood of the entire cast is summed up with the words of Danny West on the very last page.

“You have got to be shitting me.”

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Real Heroes has some beautiful art and the writing of the relationships within the Olympians is particularly interesting. However, this comic just feels like a superhero version of Galaxy Quest. One can only hope that completely apparent lack of heroic traits in the group will make for interesting drama while the story develops.

My rating: 3.5 / 5

Check out other Image Comics reviews.

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