If you’re Superman, you get to save the universe every other week. If you’re Minute Man, you get… ‘Who?’
Red Tornado is running the Metropolis branch of Heroz4U, a hero hotline which puts low-powered metahumans in touch with people who need help. The thing is, Reddy was a longtime Justice League member, what’s he doing working in the gig economy?
The same question could be asked about second-in-command Power Girl.
What does she mean? Why is Reddy a desk jockey? Who is the hero who’s fallen on hard times, not just economically, but mentally?
And what happened to the stripes on Reddy’s tights?
Writer Mark Russell answers most of these questions in an entertaining debut issue that brings back such obscure DCU characters as the Heckler, Black Condor and Flying Fox. Steve Lieber’s cheery cover emphasises cash, but what this first issue is really about is the cost of heroism. ‘Herotunities’ isn’t anywhere near as cynical as it might be, with heart very much to the fore – there’s a devastatingly emotional moment towards the close, followed by an ending that will surely have everyone coming back for the second issue of this six-parter.
Illustrator Steve Lieber, who made a big impression with the recent Jimmy Olsen maxi-series, is back with more clear compositions, nuanced expressions and body language, and generally great comic art. There are no showy action scenes, but plenty to enjoy as we see what life in the DCU is like for the little guys, the ones who don’t get the Justice League call. Details such as the Heckler’s cool new look and Reddy’s cape draped across his chair back reward close attention, while background Easter eggs in Russell’s script, such as a mention of a very little-known Lois Lane character, put a big smile on my face.
The colours of Dave Stewart add extra interest, while the letters of Dave Sharpe are clearly good.
I’ve no idea where Russell and Lieber are heading with this series, but the first issue promises a story that’s as thoughtful as it is amusing.