March 11, 2012

Image Reviews: Hell Yeah #1

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Written by: Kristin
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Title: Hell Yeah #1
Written: Joe Keatinge
Artist: Andre Szymanowicz
Colorist: Jason Lewis
Letterer: Douglas E. Sherwood
Publisher: Image
Release Date: March 7, 2012

He’s cute, he’s a superhero, he’s a screw-up; Benjamin Day is the son of one of the greatest superheroes of all time, and yet he can’t manage to go on an evening stroll without getting in a brawl. This is the premise of Image Comics’ Hell Yeah! – the lives of superheroes past the part where they rescue the world. Specifically, what happens when their children grow up, go to superhero academy, and slack off more than everyone wearing flannel did in the 90s.

Of course, there’s more to it than that. Benjamin’s parents saved the world. They made it a better place (complete with a superhero reaching out to humans shot mimicked after Michelangelo’s famous God and Adam painting in the Sistine Chapel; it’s a little heavy-handed of an artistic allusion, but it works). They brought us zeppelins, peace, and ended the hero worship of athletes. Of course, Portland (where the comic takes place) looks exactly the same – I guess in a perfect world there’s still room for punk rock and Powell’s.

Back to the story. Benjamin has trouble walking the straight and narrow, despite everyone telling him he’s a total screw-up. He doesn’t seem to be too convinced of his ability to be super, either; his powers pale in comparison to his father’s, and he’s got a weird barcode tattoo that mysteriously appeared the night his powers kicked in. It’s difficult to stand tall when one of your superpowers is odd tattoo. Ben takes this personally.

After nearly a full comic worth of flashbacks and slacker ennui, we get a nice little hook that involves an explosion, some hot girls in skintight suits, and a message from the future that manages to evoke actual emotions from our protagonist. It’s safe to say that issue #2 is in my future. I thoroughly enjoyed the first issue, though any subsequent issues will have significant work in keeping that interest. Creating shock and mystery is easy; following through on that, not so much. I have faith in Image, though; they’ve provided a lot of entertainment for me in the past, and this comic lives up to their (pardon the pun) image. Issue one feels like a solid addition to their line. The art style is compelling (not surprising from Szymanowicz, whose Deviantart page is a genuine treasure trove). There really is nothing to lament in this comic; the real challenge will lie in the issues ahead.

Amanda (Guest writer)

Review copy provided by the publisher.


One Comment

  1. Jeff Jackson

    The story is a neat idea, but I felt the art was weak. What else has Andre Szymanowicz done?

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