Discussion about the Alt★Hero series of comics and graphic novels.
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By The Observer
#875
As always, like the last topic, spoilers for #5. Let 'er rip!

-Ha... Kelvin Nought. Bravo, bravo. Again, Vox humanises the people who would nominally be his ideological opponents more than what we've seen coming out of the Big Two; Nought is portrayed as a pretty decent guy who intervened in a bad situation when he didn't have to and paid the price.

-Hammer and Ryu, eh? The hints were there when you look at it in retrospect, but hindsight is 20/20.

-Arguably, Immotus' people are MORE diverse than

-And there was what Vox was talking about the other day. Shut up about yourself, Teknos. Gamma confirmed.

-Hammer's showing that there are lines he won't cross, he knows his price; he's also sharper than the average dumb muscle in figuring out what really happened back in #2. I wonder if we'll see more, and more serious disagreement and moral hangups out of him in the future.

-Oh, hey, it's the 4GW handbook. And this is where the fun begins. Great job summing up the base idea in a handful of comic panels. So Hammer goes back to doing what he was doing, only with a different costume and under a different name.

-The globalists have a nasty habit of underestimating their opposition; it's just Nought and Sparassi against unknown numbers. The Director isn't stupid, he knows Immotus' people have military-grade abilities and the coordination and logistical support required to pull off simultaneous kidnappings. Are Nought and Sparassi just expendables sent in to test the waters? Presumably, Nought isn't even trained for this kind of work. This is a personal thing, but seeing the SPC and GJI hop from one defeat to the next has a Worf Effect when it comes to considering them as villains. I know they're going to get their plans shot down at the end of the arc, but it'd be nice to think they're still in the running.

-And the eternal mercenary's line: "fuck this, I'm outta here." That's what happens when people don't have skin in the game. Vox does a great job in summing up raw untempered female nature in Sparassi: first to speak honeyed words at the Director's plight yet also first to cut and run when things go south; mercenary and with a keen sense of self-preservation.

***

All in all, good job and awaiting #6. Sad to see Bonk go, but needs are as they must.
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By E Deploribus Unum
#876
Took me all day to get to it, because I was working. Eventually I had to pay Amazon $3.99 so I could cut to the chase and read it a few hours early. But here's the thing: this is so far beyond anything I expected out of the first five issues. I have been selling or reading comics for over 30 years and I have never seen this abrupt of a learning curve on a writer. Alt*Hero #1 is terrific, and I find almost nothing to complain about. But Alt*Hero #5 is off the charts. I went back and read it a second time because it worked so darn well I had to be sure I hadn't missed something.

No, I hadn't.

Really, anyone who loves the medium and is not picking up this series is missing out in a major way. Richard Bonk is doing exactly what a good comics artist does. No mistakes, and everything exactly where it needs to be, just reminiscent enough of late period John Byrne to resonate with the right crowd. Meanwhile Vox is setting up an epic here. The dialogue is crackling, the overarching plot is making me ache for more, and the interpersonal stuff is wonderful. The scene with Martel and Rebel in the car is perfectly framed, and even the ending with Ryu busting in is a great payoff, given all Rebel's teasing of Martel throughout the issue.

I love the depth at which the "villains" are explored. Nothing is obvious or predictable, and everybody has likable qualities. There are no ciphers here, and there are Easter eggs everywhere for VP readers. 4G indeed.

I really could not ask to be better amused. Gen Z need to read these books.

One further comment. I bought 12 Rules for Life. Yeah, I didn't see the Peterson con coming. More fool me. I also paid Richard Meyer to send me one of his products, which I still haven't received despite it being months after he first started going into his garage and begrudgingly mailing out 5 a day to supporters. I would estimate I'll get my $70 back in the next millennium, if then.

Thank God I didn't waste a cent on Cyberfrog!!!

The only real value I've gotten in the last year has been from Arkhaven/Dark Legion products. This is the only place to be spending your money these days if you genuinely love comics and care about supporting something worth sustaining.
User avatar
By dtungsten
#880
"This is our warfighting manual."
Me: Please tell me that's the 4GW handbook.

Yeah, this is firing on all cylinders.
User avatar
By Summer95
#881
The Observer wrote: -Ha... Kelvin Nought.
Indeed. Kelvin Nought as in zero degrees Kelvin, I assume. Well, 'Iceman' and 'Mr Freeze' were already taken, so I guess Vox had to get creative!

Another fine issue, and it's nice to be able to see the artwork in hi-res, even if it doesn't all fit on my screen at once. That's ok, I can just scroll through panel by panel, mostly. I also view it in fit-to-screen mode, but the art has extra impact viewed full size. Sorry to hear this is Bonk's last Alt-Hero work, but it was good stuff, and Rebel was looking her best (cutest) so far.

This issue also reminds me I still haven't got around to reading the 4GW handbook, despite having downloaded it for free ages ago. Better get on that soon!

British policeman to Nought: "Oi! You got a license for that ice cube?" Yes, I want that line!
E Deploribus Unum wrote: The scene with Martel and Rebel in the car is perfectly framed
I don't quite get what you mean there, but both car scenes were fun. I'm not sure that car suits Hammer though. Looks like a tiddly European thing. No style and totally forgettable. I dare say he wants to keep a low profile, but I still think he could do with an upgrade sometime.
User avatar
By E Deploribus Unum
#882
Summer95 wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 11:45 pm
E Deploribus Unum wrote: The scene with Martel and Rebel in the car is perfectly framed
I don't quite get what you mean there, but both car scenes were fun.
Sloppy on my part. I was thinking of the scene where Shiloh ribs Michael about not being a "leg man". Both characters are perfectly delineated with a minimum of dialogue and no unnecessary thought balloons or editorial clutter -- Bendis, Vox is not. The scene manages to be clever, natural and amusing all at the same time. Bonk lays it out beautifully, especially the body language. And that fourth panel with the big "innocent" Rebel eyes is a wonderful storytelling touch.

That second car scene, which I had forgotten, is even better. By the time we get to Give me that, you lunatic! and What's wrong with you? / What?, I find I am really liking these people and finding them believable. Vox gets a lot of mileage out of very few words. Great writing.
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By Summer95
#886
E Deploribus Unum wrote: By the time we get to Give me that, you lunatic! and What's wrong with you? / What?, I find I am really liking these people and finding them believable.
"Give me that, you lunatic!" made me chuckle.
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By The Observer
#888
Vox's greatest strength is that of his characters. Not that the other aspects aren't good, but without the characters the way they are, the story simply wouldn't work. The car scenes were already brought up, but the little exchange between Rebel and Nought where the former curses Yankees for not having manners, Nought behaving in a stereotypical British gentlemanly fashion, and Rebel telling him to kiss her ass -- that's gold.

None of the Homo Sequens powers displayed so far have been anything but run of the mill, but you couldn't replace Nought with Generic Guy with Cryokinesis and Rebel with Generic Power Girl and still have that exchange work in the slightest.

Totally agree that Vox gets lots of mileage out of very few words, #5 exemplifies that.
User avatar
By E Deploribus Unum
#889
The Observer wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 6:56 am
None of the Homo Sequens powers displayed so far have been anything but run of the mill, but you couldn't replace Nought with Generic Guy with Cryokinesis and Rebel with Generic Power Girl and still have that exchange work in the slightest.
You know, that's something that I haven't remarked on to date, but having read X-Men for years, it's pretty hard to come up with anything new in terms of power sets. It's all been done since 1961 (or whenever they began). Even the original X-Men had two members with psychic powers. The nice thing about X-Men-type characters that all result from the same "new species" background is that you don't have to come up with a ton of corny, implausible origins to provide motivation or background for the characters. You just get straight to the story.

But, yeah, in order for those sorts of stories to work, the characters have to be really well drawn and distinctive. Otherwise you have an army of uninteresting powerful robots, and nobody's going to buy into or care about that for long. What Vox is doing is all the more impressive because, as he keeps saying, he's never read comics, doesn't know the history, and isn't interested in revisiting all that just to produce a new set of characters. He just jumps right in and instinctively gets it. So there's Quantum Kitty, and she might as well be Kitty Pryde, but she's not, because she's a completely different person, even if she's a pretty young girl with an identical power set. Vox didn't nick her from the X-Men because he wouldn't know where to look in the first place. And Nought is not Bobby Drake either, thank goodness.

Long time comic readers know to get past the candy coating of power sets to the core of the characters and how they interact with one another. New readers don't know the parallels between this and other universes of characters, and probably wouldn't care anyway.
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By kHz
#890
I'd almost forgotten the fun of watching attractive people—or even a spider-demoness like Sparassi—fight in a glorious athletic battle, involving interesting and likeable characters, and in an engaging and sprawling plot of consequence... Can't put my finger on it, but this issue triggered something for me I haven't felt in a long, long time. I... think I was entertained.

I liked a lot of elements from the first 4 issues. The raid sequence in Rebel's Cell was the most exciting, and it's nice its implications were brought up in the current one. The War in Paris had previously been the breakout issue for me as it felt like the Rubicon had been crossed. But actually, I think London Calling has usurped it. Maybe not to the same degree in the realm of political interest, as TWiP remains a rousing and rather timely moment, but everything in LC just worked. Vox and co. are hitting their stride and the investment in the characters is really compounding well.

Part of that is Rebel, I suppose, who I'd liked as a concept at first, but I had certainly swung over to the Dynamique camp. Not at all familiar with Alabama girls. The references and catchphrases are entirely lost on me. But I reckon I've now come around. She's quite cute, isn't she?

I'll leave my comments on this one there. In short, it was worth the wait, and I look forward to the now inevitable Sparassi versus Ryu no Seishin staredown in some future encounter.
User avatar
By E Deploribus Unum
#892
kHz wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:23 pm
Part of that is Rebel, I suppose ... I reckon I've now come around. She's quite cute, isn't she?
I found the Southern accent a bit over-obvious at first but either Vox has dialed it back a notch since #2 or else he just made her so darn likable I don't care anymore. She's increasingly coming across as both playful and a fair bit sharper than she first appeared.
long long title how many chars? lets see 123 ok more? yes 60

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