Thursday, October 21, 2021

Andy Richardson:

Addicted to Comics


Helios (3rd Series) + Meltdown

HELIOS (3RD SERIES)

Genre: Super-heroes

The United Nations General Assembly is being held hostage, and the Neogenic Task Force would ordinarily be spending every moment trying to save them. But they’ve got their own problems. There’s a traitor in their midst, it seems, who’s arranged to have their leader eliminated. But that saboteur didn’t do a very good job, and now he’s trying to find out who’s responsible. Now the NTF is split up into factions, as these super-powered individuals try to free the hostages, solve the mystery behind the sneak attack on their compound, and maybe sort out their complex relationships with each other.

Things happen pretty quickly in this talky series, in which familiar trappings of action-adventure and espionage are wrapped up in fairly complicated intrigue and drama between individuals. It’s well-written by Jason Rand and densely drawn by Gabe Pena.

MELTDOWN

Genre: Super-heroes

The hero known as Caliente had a normal childhood, except for the dangerously high temperature he always ran. He might have gone on to be a normal adventurer, too, had something not happened that changed him forever. While fighting a team of bad guys, a hostage situation turned out badly, and now Cal’s not sure he’s a hero anymore. He lost his temper, lost control of his powers—and as this comic begins, he’s on the verge of losing his life.

At one time comics were called “grim and gritty” when normal heroes used a little excessive force. What happens, though, when one of those heroes truly goes over the edge? David Schwartz and Sean Wang ask the question in this well-done comic.

Andy Richardson is a freelance writer and editor who has been reading and writing about comics for far longer than he can believe at this point. Andy can be reached via e-mail at richardsonag@earthlink.net. Please use “ComicBase” as your subject line.

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