Review: HELL YEAH #1

Hell Yeah: The Last Generation of Heroes #1
Written by Joe Keatinge
Art by Andre Szymanowicz
Release Date: March 7, 2012

Image is cranking out the debut issues faster than anyone can keep up, and it has been fantastic. Keatinge and Synmanowicz are playing in the sub-genre I call “post-super-hero.” Super powered individuals exist, but have to fit into the constraints of how our real world might handle such people. The world of Hell Yeah had powers appear spontaneously and now a generation later things have still not settled. It is a pretty chatty book for a super-hero tale, but Keatinge is building a lot of the rules of this comic’s reality and giving us a clear picture of the lead character, Benjamin Day. We are told very early in the story that this book will challenge preconceptions about powers and costumes. Benjamin tells us in one of his first lines that “I’m no superhero.”

Szymanowicz’ art is quite good, but at times uneven. He moves the story forward through several walk-and-talk scenes as the plot gets unpacked. Given the strength of this action scenes in the early part of the book, I look forward to later issues with a bit more movement for him to really show off. His strongest pages are in the first few pages and in a flashback. He has a good sense of layout and there are a few clever references in the art that I missed the first time through.

Benjamin Day is one of the most complete characters I’ve seen in a first issue in some time. While the lack of action in the middle slowed the pace, Keatinge has created a solid foundation that makes me care about what happens to Benjamin. As a debut, it has introduced a dozen threads that could be followed and I am very interested to see which journey they have ahead for us.

Verdict: 8.0/10

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