Alright, I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume you’ve had to take a job to make ends meet; for me it was surveying work laying sewer lines where on one particularly hot day there was a bit of an issue. I was voluntold to remove a blockage from a live sewer (some idiot had dropped their work glove into a sewer pipe, causing a bit of a backup in the pipe) because I was the only one on the crew thin enough to fit in the man hole. I needed the job so I took a shovel and a bucket on a rope down the hole. I’ll go a bit further on that limb and assume there’s been a guy at your job that does the bare minimum to get by, and as much as you want to punch them, you need your job. It’s the only one you have.
Now imagine that job is being a superhero.
That James Patrick is able tell a story about the struggles of making ends meet, the perceived indignity of people who feel that they’re too good for a minimum wage position finally being forced to strap on a uniform or pick up a shovel so that they don’t starve that just happens to be wrapped up in a superhero comic that is probably one of the best I’ve read in a long time is, frankly, fantastic.
The second issue continues to follow Saul as he tries to make the best of his situation after a promising future turned into a life of being punched in the face for basic pay and some average benefits. James Patrick is able to take most comic book fans dream of developing superpowers (come on, are you telling me you wouldn’t love to be able to fly around and punch people through a wall? Really?) and turning it into such a relatable day to day employment story. The comic is funny, with the banter between Saul‘s roommates and his internal monologue never failing to make me laugh, and coupled with Carlos Trigo‘s art that fits the comic wonderfully, turn Hero Hourly into one of the best miniseries I’ve picked up in a long time.
Hero Hourly is a unique take on the whole concept of superheroing, that many readers should find incredibly interesting. Rather than fighting the good fight because it’s the right thing to do, these men and women take their daily super serum, don a cape and cowl to fight crime because it’s the only job they can find, and they have to (struggle to) pay the bills. There are no secret identities amongst the employees at the company, and Saul certainly makes no attempt to hide his current profession, which only adds to the sense that the superheroing job at the company formerly known as Hero Hourly is as mundane as can be.
Oh, but the comic isn’t.
It is, somewhat surprisingly, perfectly possible to read Hero Hourly #2 as a standalone issue, despite being the second part of a three issue miniseries. What that means is that if, for some inexplicable reason, you haven’t read the first issue that you can still enjoy the second issue when you pick it up at your favourite comic book vendor.
And you should. You really should.
Writer: James Patrick Art: Carlos Trigo Colours: Alex Sollazzo
Story: 10 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.75 Recommendation: Buy. Buy It Yesterday.
21 Pulp provided a FREE copy for review, which is awesome, but I picked up my print copy today.
Also posted on Graphic Policy.