Heroes of the North is actually a series I checked out a while ago, but due to how life works I never got around to reviewing it. It’s best described as an anthology book about the heroes and villains of Canada. The first issue focuses on introducing us to the majority of the characters, while the second issue begins featuring them in new adventures. It has this great balance of mature dialog and humor, mixed with at times cartoonish artwork. It gives the book a very unique feel to it that’s very entertaining. The first issue kicks off with Alpha Q who is basically the brains of the superhero organization in Canada. He’s being interviewed and the story essentially sets up the introduction of the other characters appearing in the series. The next story is the origin for Fleur-De-Lys, pronounce that how you want since I haven’t got a clue. Her origin is pretty tragic and the story paints the picture of her being perfect, but has a great twist ending. The next tale follows Velocity Victoria who is the speedster of the group. Her story is full of strong narrations as she stops a jewel heist from happening.
The twist of the book is that it switches to introduce the origin of the villains. The first being introduced is The Hornet which is a busty blonde that eliminates her business competition dressed in Hornet colors. She’s actually on trial for murder, but has a televised alibi. The case is obviously bogus and just there to introduce her ruthlessness; the story has another great twist ending. I’m going to jump ahead to another villain introduced and that’s Madame Doom. She’s an ex-fashion model turned mobster. She’s conducting some shady business and decides to eliminate her partners, but one of them gets the better of her and burns her face ruining her career and sending her deeper into the underground.
I hadn’t read the second issue until recently so it was far more entertaining for me being that it was newer. The first story stars Black Terror who is a drug using anti-hero that has the tendency to sleep in dumpsters. He wakes up in a drug induced state where everything is very Saturday morning cartoony. He begins killing his usual enemies, most of which have been introduced in the series by now. The entire time he’s accompanied by his cartoon heart who leads him into a trap in order to teach him a lesson.
The next story is another origin tale, this time for Acadia who has a suit that can turn her invisible. It begins with her days of just a common pick pocket, but after choosing the wrong mark she winds up a lab assistant. The professor she’s helping ends up becoming the father she never had, but after telling her ex-boyfriend too much he betrays her and the Hornet comes to steal the suit. It’s a good tale even if it doesn’t have the most believable storyline.
The next character introduced is Nordik, another busty blonde that wears all black leather. She’s good with guns and not so great with English. Her and 8-Ball have come across a series of murders all involving ice and call girls. It’s a fun tale with a sexy ending!
Each issue is $5.99, but I have to say that you get a lot of content for that price. The stories vary in length, but all of them are entertaining. Some of the stories don’t take themselves very seriously, while others are very serious. It’s a fun balance as it shows that the creators are willing to have fun with the world they’ve created. Some of the stories suffer from convenient storytelling like the pick-pocket that becomes the lab assistant, but for the most part the origin stories felt like the creators getting it over and done with. They tell as much as needed in order to continue using the characters in their more important stories later.
Each story has a different artist and there are ton of stories so it goes without saying that there is a variety of art styles. None of them are bad so I’ll get that out of the way first. There are some that are very cartoony, while others are dark and gritty. Literally between the two issues they capture practically every art style you’re familiar with in comics today. I particularly liked the art for the Black Terror on the first issue, but there are several other styles that I enjoyed as well. There’s a great Archie inspired story that is picture perfect to the series of inspiration.
These books are a lot of fun and very entertaining. The most impressive thing is the amount of stories that each issue delivers and that you really can’t get bored with it since an issue rarely repeats the use of a character. There are times when a character is used twice, but then the two stories have a completely different tone that again makes them entertaining. The books aren’t available digitally so you’ll have to check them out in print and I highly encourage you do so; especially if you’re looking for superhero stories that you grew up with, but with a mature theme to them.
Writers: Yann Brouillette and Michel Brouillette
Artists: Marcus Smith and Olivier Raymond (Issue #1), Geof Isherwood, Dan Parent, David Cutler, Gibson Quarter, Zach Fisher, Guillermo Ortego, Daniel Wong, Keiren Smith, Aljoša Tomić, and Zen (Issue #2)
Publisher: Ardden and MSD Publishing
Price: $5.99 each