Project Superpowers: The Hero Killers TPB – Review
Dynamite released a collection last week of Project Superpowers: Hero Killers. Hero Killers was a five issue limited series that explored what happened when some frustrated sidekicks snap and become the murderers of the heroes they once served. When the first issue came out last year, I read it and wasn’t terribly impressed. However, the premise and the creators are intriguing enough that when the TPB came out, I wanted to give it a second chance.
writer | cover: Ryan Browne
artist: Pete Woods
FC | 136 pages | $19.99 | Teen+
Welcome to Libertyville U.S.A.! Home of too damn many superheroes!
Watch out, crime, here comes Captain Battle Jr.! And Sparky! And Tim! Yeah, you know…Tim! What? You’ve never heard of them? Huh. Well, it’s hard to be a sidekick when there is a city full of capes running around stopping every misdemeanor with a spandex wrapped flourish. Now watch as things get weird when three lad companions (totally not weird) try to get to the criminals before their bosses do!
From the insanity-riddled minds of Ryan Browne (God Hates Astronauts) and Pete Woods (Robin, Deadpool). Prepare to feel the wrath of Tim!
COLLECTS ISSUES 1-5 + BONUS CONTENT
As I said, I read the first issue and wasn’t interested in reading any further. Somehow, though I was interested in seeing how this played out. Ryan Browne uses the public domain characters from the Golden Age in a new way, not treating them as seriously as they have been treated in the past. Ryan Browne’s take doesn’t break a lot of new ground, as this satirical take operates on heroes acting in unheroic ways. Where Ryan Browne succeeds is in using this premise to entertaining and at times absurd directions that satire demands. He also manages to allow a couple of heroes to retain their nobler motives, which grounds the satire in a way that can carry the plot forward.
Pete Woods has proven to be a capable artist. His range has varied from the less-than serious Deadpool, to where I first discovered his work, Superman: World of New Krypton. His style has evolved and he shows a good range within this story, shifting into a style for an other-dimensional realm, really confirming and cementing the feel of a different reality within the story. I really like his work here, carrying through on absurd concepts and faithfully rendering action by setting a scene and creating believable space.
All in all, this is not a bad story, but it’s far from great. The premise forces an early shock, so most of the subsequent shocks lack the punch they probably should have. There are a couple of twists that retain their punch, so this flaw is not a terrible flaw. The art works well and draws on enough tropes to work as satire, yet be entertaining.
Final rating: 7.2 (out of 10)