Comic nerds all come with the challenge of having many ideas and never implementing a single one. What I admire about Hero Envy is how they’re the rare example of getting off the couch and putting the pen to paper. Hero Envy started as webisodes back in 2005 with a video camera and no money; just motivation by a small group called Reckless Sidekick Productions. They’ve grown and expanded into published comic books and have 2 spin-off series; “The Swass Adventures” and “Swass-Cast.” I’ll be reviewing their 3 issue full color series which I stole when Keith (their leader) was distracted at Boston Comic Con last month.
The first thing that stands out to me is how obvious Hero Envy was created by comic readers who also have a professional know how. Too often independent comics are slapped together cheap and quite sloppy. Not Hero Envy. The artwork is crisp, smooth, and full of magical rainbow ogres that crap color everywhere (that’s a fancy way of saying they printed this in high quality color). The layout resembles professional pages you’d see in DC or Marvel. I loved reading the witty editor letters and interviews. Now to the story, Hero Envy proves its worthiness among geeks by marching along in the parody pride parade. There are many corny events of comic book history that have become light hearted humor with many of us. Hero Envy pokes at them a lot. U-Toob the Pointer is a mockery of Marvel’s the Watcher and he does a fantastic job at pointing.
It isn’t just comic book history that’s being parodied, it’s also nerd lifestyle. You start to read and get into the character development of each of the four main characters: Dekker, J.D. Fields, Wall North, and Orson in issue two when they arrive at a comic convention as part of their mission to find four magical objects to defeat the evil El Moco-Conpan. Not only do you get to find humor and personality in each character, you also get a good laugh out of them poking fun of comic conventions. The hot chick Elektra cosplayer, a group of angry comic book fans during a panel of the Disney takeover of Marvel, and an entire audience of Heath Ledger Joker cosplayers (my favorite).
My only bit of criticism is that I felt the first issue used a bit too many reference jokes, and I feel a few years from now people might not get them since they’re “dated” (there’s a Myspace reference). Some of the jokes the characters quote from other movies, which is fine but my personal preference is to have them come up with something entirely original on their own. Again these are minor points and it’s for the sake of wanting Hero Envy to only get better and more interesting. So check it out: http://heroenvy.com/