Discussion about the Alt★Hero series of comics and graphic novels.
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By E Deploribus Unum
#936
Roland Dane is a splendid name and a splendid character. We first meet him, all hardened masculinity, square jaw, big gun, camo and messy hair, working the equivalent of a Treasury SWAT team in Maryland. He may be a top-flight Deep State operative, but it’s instantly obvious Roland is his own man:

Dane! Leave him! Where’s he gonna go?”

Does he leave him, even under orders? Hell no. I already love the guy. Too bad the brains of Dane’s captive get splattered all over the wall only seconds later, but both the reader and Roland instantly grasp there is something rotten in Denmark. This “raid” is not what it seems.

Nothing in this book is. Dane is savvy enough to play along with the chessmasters in his organization rather than naively confronting the liars he works with (and for), so naturally the reader starts looking for clues right along with him.

Chuck Dixon has done a magnificent job here, maybe his best work for Arkhaven, and it’s all accomplished through dialogue and interior monologue. There are no shortcuts; no editorial voice-overs to take us out of the story, and no phony and implausible banter that exists only to advance the narrative at the expense of authenticity. Nope, every word in this book sounds like real people in believable conversations.

Then again, there is Helix Haze, possibly the most experienced and accomplished artist yet to work for Arkhaven. His subtle professionalism is all over this book. We know, for instance, that Dane’s boss Gilders is a standard-issue paper-pushing careerist weenie not because anybody clumsily voices it, or even because he absolutely looks like one, but because Haze lets us see him watching YouTube cat videos as he reassigns Roland. I snorted.

“This is a promotion,” says Gilders, simultaneously lying through his teeth and returning to his cats before Dane can even leave the room. Beautiful.

It’s Arkhaven, so naturally Dane uses the word “queer” without apology or PC caveat, just as people in the real world do every single day. When called on it (“I could report your ass for saying ‘queer’ ”), Roland simply replies, “And I could report yours for using the Xerox to make copies of your daughter’s college resume.”

Glorious.

Dane is a wolf among puppies and a total alpha in a world of gammas and deltas. He buys his girlfriend Kitty a burger on their “date”, which consists of a trip through the drive-thru, scarfs down extra onions with his own, blows off her assumption that he’ll be spending the evening at her place, and unapologetically assumes she will drive his car the three hours back from Quantico without being formally asked. When she asks, “Why do I put up with you?”, the reader already knows why: Dane is the only real man in this book.

If I didn’t know for sure that Chuck Dixon wrote this book, I’d swear it was Vox Day.

I won’t spoil it further for you. The pyrotechnics are wonderful, the girls are breasty and the blood is bloody. It’s a great ride. Five more of these and I might never buy a comic book from any other company again.
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By SilentDraco
#937
Agent Roland Dane literally crashed onto stage as the main actor in Alt-Hero:Q. After being set up and sent overseas for being too inquisitive about a successful but 'problematic' raid, he survives an assassination attempt to find himself alone and presumed dead. Alone, until a street urchin returns 'his' mobile device - then vanishes without a trace. Who is the mysterious benefactor who needs allies? We get one major hint, and then have to wait for another action-packed comic. ALL RIGHT!!

This was the first time since classic G.I. Joe or Sergeant Rock comics that a square-jawed hero wields a pintle-mount .50 caliber machinegun with such focus and determination. He's willing every round into the target vehicle. The art is amazing, and the story grabs and hustles you right through. I backed it, based on Alt-Hero quality, and this first issue turned everything up to about 12.

Good call, Deploribus, AH:Q will make the soyboys cry in their room-temperature chai.
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By E Deploribus Unum
#938
SilentDraco wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 12:32 am
I backed it, based on Alt-Hero quality, and this first issue turned everything up to about 12.
Yeah, exactly. I have never been prouder to have been part of anything crowdfunded. It's already clear we need to fund a sequel, and it's hardly started.
long long title how many chars? lets see 123 ok more? yes 60

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