Hench-Sized Comic Book Reviews – 4/25/20
Still trapped in quarantine. Still without new comics, for the most part. But I’ve got nothing better to do with my time so I grabbed Anti/Hero from DC Comics! It’s intended for young readers, but there weren’t any other comics I wanted to check out this week, so let’s go for it!
Meanwhile, I watched the HBO show Barry on their free streaming services and it was great! Highly recommended! I’m now playing the video game Days Gone, it’s an open world zombie game, and it’s fine. It’s filling that niche of having a distracting game to play. Still haven’t bought that Switch…
What are the rest of you up to in quarantine?
Comic Reviews: Anti/Hero.
Writers: Kate Karyus Quinn and Demitria Lunetta
Artist: Maca Gil, with Sam Lotfi
Colorist: Sarah Stern
Letterer: Wes Abbott
An all-ages DC Comics graphic novel about a young, teen superhero taking on a young, teen super-villain sounds pretty fun to me! I’m not the target audience for a lot of things.
Piper is an eager young superhero with burgeoning super strength. She calls herself ‘The Hummingbird’, though she tends to cause a lot of collateral damage when she’s fighting crime, and the cops have taken to calling her ‘The Wrecking Ball’ — or the ‘Cheesy Chipster’ because she’s always accidentally leaving snack food wrappers behind. Sloane is ‘Gray’, a super-intelligent teen who is using her gadgets and gizmos to commit crimes for local crime boss The Bear, all in an effort to get her mom some medical treatment and keep her small family afloat. The two girls are also classmates together at school, though they don’t know about their secret identities…at least not yet. That’s where the story comes in!
When Sloane tries to steal a secret medical device and Piper tries to stop her, the two girls activate it and switch bodies! Now the excitable, colorful Piper must pose as the intelligent, drab Sloane and vice versa, while they figure out how to get things back to normal, and while they compete in a special academic tournament!
Comic Rating: 9/10 – Great.
This was delightful! It’s fun, cheerful and clever, with dialogue that really flows and stays strong the whole way through. The characters are very well defined, and the writers clearly milk the ‘switched bodies’ angle for all its worth. They mix it up, they twist it around, they create a real roller coaster for these two girls to ride. Each of them learns something from living as the other, but it’s not instantaneous and it’s not too schmaltzy. Don’t get me wrong, this is still definitely written for a younger audience, but it doesn’t talk down to its readers. Everything is written on the level, with such life and energy that the graphic novel never sags.
There are also a lot of really great little things that make the story really rewarding. Piper’s parents are scientists working in Antarctica, and she hasn’t seen them in three years and it bugs her, obviously. But when she’s in Sloane’s body, suddenly she’s got a mom again. And even though she’s pretending to be Sloane, it’s still really nice to see Piper get to hug a mom figure and have that touch of happiness. It’s a small moment, but it really works in this story. Then there’s the extreme Scottishness of The Bear as a villain. It’s just a fun character touch. There’s a lot in this comic that helps build and show off the world.
The art is also phenomenal. It’s the perfect level of cartoon and comic, with everyone clearly defined with their own look, and a real energy to the action scenes. The art is just as energetic and full of character as the writing.
The only complaint I had about the series was that the girls are wearing pretty boring costumes throughout. As you can see, Piper’s outfit is obviously homemade, while Sloane is just wearing a black hoodie. Little did I know, while reading, that this was all part of the plan, and the growth into better costumed adventurers was just another nice little subplot!
TL;DR: Anti/Hero is the whole package! Great new characters, a really fun story to put them through real growth, and some colorful and energetic art.