Discussion about the Alt★Hero series of comics and graphic novels.
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By E Deploribus Unum
#912
I am SO impressed by the progress in these six issues. The first issue was perfectly fine comics, but this sixth issue is really something special. Vox has gotten completely comfortable with the business of scripting comics. His work is totally entertaining and natural. The first four pages of the Initiative are perfect tonally. That's much harder to do than it looks.

As for the art -- well, I must confess that Richard Bonk's seasoned, professional look has always done it for me. But the progress Cliff Cosmic has made since the first issue is off the charts. He hasn't changed exactly so much as he has matured. The extravagant, cartoonish gestures and facial expressions are not going away, thank goodness, but his backgrounds are far more sophisticated and well-developed, and his storytelling is note-perfect. I love that there are not a ton of photoshopped buildings in the background. Everything looks real and drawn, but just ... better. Bravo to all concerned.

Can't wait for my hardcover.
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By The Observer
#913
Some thoughts:

-Captain Europa makes a whole little speech justifying his actions and claiming he's going to learn from his mistakes... then refuses to admit that Durand beat him. It's a very Petersonian apple cider-ish incident, and one that ensures that he'll learn nothing no matter how hard he tries. Garbage in, garbage out, after all. It's great.

-Shade AND Redshift do try and talk some sense into the captain. Good old level-headed, competent people.

-The facial expressions on everyone, especially Dynamique, are excellent.

-The in-jokes are fine and amusing, but on the other hand they do detract somewhat from the seriousness of Durand's escape. Even since the first of the ilk turned up, I didn't feel like there was any serious threat to Focault and Durand, or that the Initiative had any chance of succeeding. It's not necessarily a bad thing, given that the issue is an introduction to the Dark Lord and his organisation, but it's a point.

-Another thing to note is that with the introduction of the SDL, VFM and ILK, the story's taken a more fantastical turn as opposed to the twenty minutes into the future setting we've had for the last five issues. Not that it's a BAD thing, but it certainly is a change from the norm we've seen so far.
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By E Deploribus Unum
#914
The Observer wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 2:23 am
With the introduction of the SDL, VFM and ILK, the story's taken a more fantastical turn as opposed to the twenty minutes into the future setting we've had for the last five issues. Not that it's a BAD thing, but it certainly is a change from the norm we've seen so far.
Agreed. On the other hand, I'm trying to look at it from the perspective of someone who knows nothing whatsoever of VP and the last ten years of back and forth in the comments. From that perspective, it's just a new and very cool hero/villain coterie, depending on your perspective about who is in the right here. I have a feeling we'll be back down to earth very shortly, as soon as we return to North America.
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By SilentDraco
#915
The VFM and Dread Ilk can be explained as 2 hours into the future, beings created by a combination of H. sequens mutation and genetic engineering by a figure in the shadows, whispered about as the Supreme Dark Lord. The figures added in Issue #6 add the fantastical element which is not entirely beyond the realm of possible - see super strength and flight. There could be more centers or operational bases or outposts, beyond Europe. For someone not familiar with VP or Sad/Rabid Puppies, they add a very cool and off-the wall set of characters. Those of us familiar with the SDL, OTOH, almost laughed ourselves out of the chair reading the last ten pages. When I re-read without hyperventilating, I realized that there was a panel with a Ridgeback in it. The inside jokes are much appreciated, since the entire concept of SDL, VFM, and Ilk/Dread Ilk was an FU-type response to those without a sense of humor.

The flight out of France uses several traditional spy or film noir tropes: new IDs or tickets, (where's the letters of transit?) , secret escape through tunnels or catacombs, and decoys or spy traps. It reads like several old movies, but with grenade-using VFM. The artwork and choice of panel layouts matured fast, and cuts to key scenes and emotions. The writing carried more impact and humor, and with artwork pushing this way over the top.
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By E Deploribus Unum
#916
Very much agreed. As good as were the last few pages with the Dread Ilk, VFM, the SDL and Spacebunny, perhaps the best four pages of the entire book are the first four. The interactions between the members of the Initiative were logical, amusing and a pleasure to read. Vox has got a real sense of who these characters are and is communicating it perfectly, and with humor to boot.
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By SilentDraco
#919
Oh, Lord yes. Those four pages were great ... I had a vision of Leslie Caron or Audrey Hepburn, caught by The Male Lead after being out without permission, and getting "rewarded" with a trip in The Big Car. The gestures and eye/face expressions are very similar. Rainbow reminds me of a couple acquaintances, who would try to bring in a joke or gesture when needed. The Global Justice Initiative may work for globalist ends, but seeing the antagonists have advances and then spectacular flops is good. It brings the H. sequens back to a set of all too human greed and failings, with a nice absence of mindless obedience or no sense of humor.
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By E Deploribus Unum
#920
SilentDraco wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 1:22 am
Oh, Lord yes. Those four pages were great ... I had a vision of Leslie Caron or Audrey Hepburn, caught by The Male Lead after being out without permission, and getting "rewarded" with a trip in The Big Car. The gestures and eye/face expressions are very similar.
Exactly. Cliff is really nailing the facial tics and personality stuff. It's over the top and almost Japanese in certain respects, but I love it. There are a lot of wildly diverse influences there, and I think he's going to be a one-of-a-kind talent. I cannot possibly overemphasize how much progress he's made with backgrounds since #1.
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By SilentDraco
#921
Ordered my copies of #4-6 today. I was waiting to make one large order. I have a couple of gift sets in here, and can add the second half of the first set now.

Cliff Cosmic has hit his stride well, and can only get better from here (I hope). The catacombs themselves were very true to style and emotions evoked. I've been in several very old graveyards which were heavily used and added over, for centuries, and have been in ossuaries like that. It's an odd combination of unease, dread, and awe; those panels brought a lot of that back up.
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By SilentDraco
#931
I received my copies on March 12, so it was six days from order to receipt. Everything arrived in good form, and I'm really happy to have gold star covers for Alt-Hero 4-6. The paper feels good and has tough covers, and the sealing means we don't worry about flimsy covers getting pulled off staples. Avalon #3 came in the larger size. it was easier to read and handle, and some of the details popped out.

The tunnel chase in Paris (issue #6) looked even better on paper, with cold catacomb colors being replaced by bright action. One thing came to mind: do the VFM reproduce, or re-materialize out of the ether? Does the SDL rebuild them in tissue culturing vats?
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By E Deploribus Unum
#932
SilentDraco wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:29 am
Do the VFM reproduce, or re-materialize out of the ether? Does the SDL rebuild them in tissue culturing vats?
The answers to these and other important questions may require their own mini-series ...
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