Monday, June 10, 2013

Hell Yeah, Bring It On!

Published:  October 16th, 2012
Hell Yeah!  Volume 1: Last Days On Earth

By: Joe Keatinge and Andre Szymanowicz (Illustrator)
Image Comics
ISBN-13:  9781607066071
Today is the worst day of Benjamin Day's life. He's the poster child for the first generation raised in a world where superheroes exist, but he wants nothing to do with super-anything. When versions of himself from throughout the multiverse show up dead, this one-man crisis of infinite selves tears open twenty-year-old secrets. Ben's now forced into the super-society he's long denied. Eisner award-winner and writer Joe Keatinge and illustrator Andre Szymanowicz team to bring the comic described by Third Eye Comics' Steve Anderson as "Watchmen for the Kick-Ass Generation." Features an introduction by the acclaimed creator of Madman and iZOMBIE, Michael Allred.
     Benjamin Day has grown up in a world where superheroes and villains are a reality.  All he wants is to lead a normal existence as a regular guy/college student.  But when he goes out with his best friend and is hijacked by the band they saw play, things turn really weird.  One of the girls in the band has dated Ben - just in an alternate universe!  That Ben Day was murdered and someone is killing off all of Ben's alternate reality counterparts.  Can he help figure out why and stop the killer before he's next?  And is the answer closer to home than Ben ever could have imagined?
     So, this comic had lots of my favorite things in it - alternate dimensions, parallel selves and the like.  I adore things like that in a book, comic or not.  Ben Day is seemingly nothing special and while nothing was ever concretely nailed down as to why he's so special, there were some hints.  It was basically his origin story and that's a concept that I am familiar with and when done right, it's what I enjoy the most about comics in general (especially superhero ones).  The people coming through from other dimensions, all looking for Ben Day, created some hilarious situations and some rather horrifying ones too.  My favorite character besides Ben was actually one of the superheroes from another dimension, a woman who is on a mission to find and kill Ben (being away from her wife and kids to do it).  She was a bad-ass with a seemingly harsh view of things.  But there were moments, especially with her fellow superheroes, that you could see something more.  The change in Ben by the end of the comic was an interesting one and with the way things ended I'm eager to see where the author takes the story.  I did enjoy the artwork, but while it was good I did feel like it was a little too classic comic mashed together with a noir-esque graphic novel.  It was a little stylistically confused to my eyes, but what do I know?  All in all, a good origin story and I would recommend it to fans of superhero comics looking for a new mythology to deconstruct and analyze.  A good read that I don't regret spending time with, if a little incoherent at times.
VERDICT:  4.25/5  Stars
*received an Advanced Reading E-book Copy from the publisher, via NetGalley. No money or favors were exchanged for this review. This book was published October 16th, 2012.*

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