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posted January 3, 2005
Jason Rand, Gabe Pena, Chris Dreier
Dakuwaka, 32 pages, $2.99, 2005
The second issue of this series about a military wing of superheroes has one thing going it: a long decompression session concerning the previous day's battle. I always thought the fact that comics writers tend to never played an active sport keeps comics that try to be "realistic" far away from some obvious ways in which superheroes would operate like jocks: going over film, or doing strategy sessions. I watched more film and prepared more effectively for my opponents as the worst player in college football 1987-1990, and my life was never at stake. Also, the writer makes sure to point out how a giant storytelling error that seemed to crop up in the first issue -- a monster being drowned n combat that we know could breathe underwater -- was not what it seemed to be, and good for him.
I'm afraid still feels generic, and not just the concept but right down to its bones. It feels like a forgettable TV show. The characters have variations on the same broad-nose faces and none of the places depicted have the sort of surprising detail amid a significant number of scene-setting details that would distinguish such a work by giving it a "look". Too many places look like sets from a television show, one with a meager decorating budget. It's not horribly done, there's nothing seedy or weird in Helios
#2, but it's not refreshingly done by any measure. One must never say they have no idea why a book exists -- that's up to the individual artist -- but it's possible to mention if one has no idea why anyone would want to pick it up.