What if you could use your smart phone to activate magnificent super powers such as strength, speed or flight? What if everybody else did the same? Such is the premise of iHero, an interesting little concept comic from writer Luke J. Halsall and artist Graeme Kennedy. Issue #1 addressed the many ups and downs of the iHero technology along with the mysterious murder of iHero founder Jack Taylor. It was a pretty good issue and quite a unique idea exploring something that was interesting in concept and style. I liked Issue #1 quite a bit and had put it up there on my “look out for” list when a new issue might be released.
Well, it has been almost a two years, but we finally have an iHero Issue #2. But unfortunately for the title, I could have used a refresher as to what happened in the opener. It took some reacquainting to the story upon opening read. As I did read it however, my memory did eventually return to me and things started to fall back into place. Issue #2 does some flashbacks and flash forwards in regard to the murder of Jack Taylor and in the hunt for answers by The Icon, an original super powered being who became the first spokesperson for the iHero product, his daughter Inamorata, and Sovereign, a renegade hero who will not bow to the corporate sponsor, delivering justice the way she determines is best, to include death to the baddies.
Issue #2 also has the backstory of The Icon and a secret that he has been hiding. Once known, we get an idea as to what things happen as they do here. We continue the issue by getting some looks at the beginnings of the iHero movement, some rather interesting uses for the product, as well as some of the more social impacts of the product. Finally, there is some mystery going on regarding Jack’s murder, but little time is spent on that area where more needed to be spent and things get very muddled because of this, feeling like the creators wanted to load this issue with as much stuff as possible.
It truly is a pity, as I wanted to like this title. I found the first issue fresh, unique, and fun. With Issue #2 however, the story feels confused, uninspired, and lacks that umph that would put this indy title to the top. Writer Luke J. Halsall who brought fun to the opening entry, has blah here. We have flat dialogue, cardboard characters, and weak progression. It truly did sadden me as I was wanting more.
Artist Graeme Kennedy is no better, as his art, though appropriate for the title, only shows glimpses of greatness. There is no consistency and everybody scowls. Everybody that is but jack Taylor and he is dead. We get no great insight into the mystery of the murder and I almost felt that the dreaded “predictable” label crossed my mind a few times as a read it. Things seem to be falling into something that seems like it has been done before and with better presentation.
This title likewise does the reader a great disservice by not having a summary blurb from Issue #1. I had a lot of trouble in following what was happening in this issue, and I had read Issue #1 albeit a couple of years ago. For someone who comes to this issue green with no idea of that first issue, I fear that they may be even more confused with what is happening. This is a real concern as the cover is the best thing going for this comic. It catches the eye and encourages you to read further. Unfortunately from there, you don’t get a whole lot. I am sincerely hoping when Issue #3 rolls out, that these items will be addressed and the title will return to the track that it was on with #1.
iHero #2 Writer: Luke J. Halsall Artist: Graeme Kennedy Colorist: Graeme Kennedy Publisher: OR Comics Release Date: 7/15/15 Website