The Heindrich Project Chronicles – Ground Zero is interesting; it’s a one-shot from Hound Comics and in a lot of ways it’s a zero issue. What threw me for a loop was that the opening page of text introduces a futuristic world and it sounds very interesting. It had almost a Lazarus vibe to it, but with cool titles like “Last War” and “Forgotten.” The rest of the issue was a very different story though as it took place in the past. The story opens with two brothers riding bikes in the town of Heaven, Utah. I don’t know if there’s Heaven on earth, but it sure as shit isn’t in Utah… but that’s more of a personal note that you can put in your bag for later. Joey the younger brother is obsessed with space, rockets and aliens and with good reason since he’s growing up in 1969 during the early days of space exploration. The older brother Doug is more competitive and comes across as a “bad” kid. He runs his bike into a piece of metal sticking out in the ground and suddenly the boys have a bona-fide mystery on their hands. They take the object to the town’s doctor and he begins studying it, but can’t figure out what the heck its purpose is.
The next day the doc is over at the boy’s house because the kids are sick and frankly they look really bad. The Doctor talks to their mother and lets her know that he doesn’t know what’s going on. In fact a lot of people are sick in town and it all kind of ties into the appearance of the object the boys found.
Of course there’s a twist to the story, but I won’t ruin that for you. It’s not terribly exciting, but it was interesting enough. The story isn’t too shabby for an introduction, but it’s hard to see where this is going to fit into the big picture that’s presented on the opening page of text. Also the opening page of text is very misleading when you read this tale. Granted after the story began I put it out of my mind, but that’s just me; I can’t say that everyone else will or can do the same which draws the question of why it’s included?
The dialogue is actually very solid. The kids are believable and thankfully they don’t talk too much because then they would be annoying. The pacing is solid as the plot progresses rapidly which fits the events that we’re shown. There’s just enough buildup to the ending and just enough payoff.
The art is okay. I’m still on the fence about it as it’s not bad by any means, but it may have not been the best fit for the story. The kids are inconsistent in that they don’t always look like kids, just wrinkle-free adults. The vehicles are also inconsistent and at one point a car is parked in its own drive way with its front end hanging out in the road. The adult character designs were solid and the doctor’s glasses were a nice touch. At one point you can spot a Tardis in Joey’s room which was kind of strange to see toy for a BBC show that likely hadn’t aired in the States at that point and definitely didn’t ship merchandise. It was a nice touch, but very out-of-place.
Was this a solid zero issue? Not exactly; while it was an interesting one-shot and a solid story in its own right, it didn’t set up the world in a way that we know what to expect in the future. Putting aside the first page of text, I still have no idea where the story is going after the ending of this issue. There isn’t enough of a hint or lead in to the main series and so in that regard it’s not successful. Is it a solid comic that stands on its own? Certainly, but it really should have been both solid and a lead in for the main series.
Writers: Kevin Enhart and Keith Foo Artist: Kevin Enhart Publisher: Hound Comics Price: $5.00 Release Date: 3/12/14 Website