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Hero Squared Vol. 1 [Paperback]

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Item description for Hero Squared Vol. 1 by Joe Abraham Keith Giffen...

Collecting the sold-out X-Tra Sized Special one-shot - which was such a success that it lead to a three issue miniseries - this book is packed with extras. In print for the first time will be the popular web comic promotion that Keith Giffen plotted and penciled, and which DeMatteis scripted along with Giffen's original character designs and Joe Abraham's concept sketches. Also in print for the first time is a Keith Giffen plot, which can now be compared side-by-side with DeMatteis' final script!

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Item Specifications...

Pages   128
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.9" Width: 5.9" Height: 0.4"
Weight:   1.2 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 12, 2007
Publisher   BOOM! Studios
ISBN  1934506001  
ISBN13  9781934506004  
UPC  894340001229  

Availability  0 units.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Comics & Graphic Novels > Graphic Novels > General
2Books > Subjects > Comics & Graphic Novels > Graphic Novels > Superheroes
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Comic
4Books > Subjects > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Hero Squared Vol. 1?

Hero Squared - come for the Bwa-ha-ha!, stay for all the meaningful conversations  Mar 26, 2008
Super-powered Milo (Captain Valor) to ordinary Milo: "You're -- you're flabby...and foul-mouthed...and...not super! How can you NOT BE SUPER?!?!"

Even after all this time I would say that the team of Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis are probably still mostly known for their great run at JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL (see Justice League International: Volume 1)and its assorted spin-off titles. Ever since JLI, they've become a name brand for a certain sub-genre in the comic book world, that of superheroes done sit-com style. Which brings us to their latest efforts, HERO SQUARED and PLANETARY BRIGADE, two sister titles published by the independent comic book company Boom! Studios.

Or, more specifically, it brings us to HERO SQUARED.

So this one is supposedly set in "our" world, where superheroes do not exist. That is, until Captain Valor is inadvertently catapulted here from his own parallel universe by the dread supervillain Lord Caliginous, who, incidentally, had just laid total waste to that same universe. Captain Valor, knowing that Caliginous isn't far behind, immediately seeks out his counterpart for assistance and is shocked to find that this world's Milo Stone (Valor's real name) is a mere ordinary mortal...and a shiftless good-for-nothing schmoe, at that. So, the question put out there by Giffen & DeMatteis is this: Can a noble crimefighter and his slacker doppelganger somehow find a way to get along? And maybe save the world?

HERO SQUARED is the first creator-owned series put out by Giffen & DeMatteis, and it looks like they're having a hell of a fun time. Of course, their trademark screwy banter comes intact and is once again unrelenting. But, underneath the wacky sense of humor, there's a layer of seriousness which grounds the story. The silly talk is nicely bolstered by a rich influx of mature dialogue and ongoing character development. There's actually quite a bit of exposition in these pages, only broken up now and then by superhero tussles.

In fact I'd say this series is more relationship-oriented than your average superhero comic book. The four main characters are all linked in a twisted way. Not only do we have the two counterparts of Milo Stone (who are immediately at each other's throats), but also the two versions of Stephie. ***SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER coming up in the sentence after the next!!*** One is normal and sweet and optimistic and is the supportive girlfriend of slacker Milo. The other Stephie is actually none other than Lord Caliginous. So, as one might imagine, the interdynamics are of the volatile sort. I don't think you'll be surprised to learn that Caliginous holds a very, very personal grudge against Captain Valor. Dysfunctional relationships, good for comedy AND drama.

This trade paperback collects the Hero Squared One-Shot X-Tra Sized Special, as well as the 3-part mini-series, which soon followed. I don't want to leave out Joe Abraham, whose artwork seamlessly fits the story. Maybe I'm exuding too much fan boy enthusiasm, but Abraham's stuff gives me the same vibe that Kevin Maguire's did when he first drew the JLI. Anyway, these issues had me grinning quite a bit as Giffen and DeMatteis hit their stride early on. But, again, it's not all about the funny. I think they've struck gold with Valor and Milo's squabbling interplay, which is simultaneously hilarious and perceptive. Talk about your Odd Couple, both of these dudes have serious issues! Captain Valor comes across as insufferably overbearing while Milo does remind me of several buddies of mine, who are just drifting thru life (Heck, I get that sinking feeling I may even be in that same category). So, even as Valor accuses Milo of being lazy and aimless, Milo condemns the obnoxious Valor of being so blindly self-righteous that he ends up as guilty as the villain in endangering lives and causing massive property damages. It might be a valid point that Lord Caliginous asserts, that "Fate's Chosen Champion" might still be rigidly stuck in adolescence. After all, Captain Valor was bequeathed his powers when he was only 15 years old. But, then again, just how far can you believe Caliginous, who is after all, a first-class manipulator?

Also, since in his own world, Captain Valor went out with his own Stephie, is it so very strange that he'd start having feelings for this other version of her? No, right?

No worries, hard core action comics fans, it's not all soap opera stuff here. Enough gratuitous superheroics are thrown in here to soothe the nerdy breast. Again, shout outs to artist Joe Abraham, who manages to equally convey the over-the-top superhero moments and the mundane, standing-around-and-chatting sequences. Those snapping up the bait might've been going in for the trademark tomfoolery, but they'll stick around even more because the characters and the plot developments really are so interesting. Turns out, there might be more to Lord Caliginous than that destroying-the-universe shtick.

Some extra goodies here, too, including the promotional web comic drawn by Giffen, after which DeMatteis scripted three versions, one each for the websites Comic Book Resources, the Pulse, and Newsarama. There are also pages of Giffen's character designs, Joe Abraham's concept sketches, the color evolution of Maguire's first issue cover, and "Giffen & DeMatteis: The Shocking True Story" - the (I'm pretty sure) fabricated article which tells of how these two first met (apparently, both were awful stand up comedians).

Keep an eye out for HERO SQUARED, Vol. 2 - ANOTHER FINE MESS, which includes the issue in which Milo and Valor visit a therapist. And, if you're curious about Captain Valor's life before he was stranded in this other dimension, then check out Giffen and Dematteis' Planetary Brigade. That one, though, is even sillier and more spoofy than HERO SQUARED (and not as good).

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