I kept wanting to type "Heroes Against Hope," and that’s just depressing.

§ December 4th, 2008 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on I kept wanting to type "Heroes Against Hope," and that’s just depressing.

Okay, just to follow up a bit on yesterday’s post…I thought I’d bust out my copy of Heroes Against Hunger, DC Comics’s African benefit book from 1986, out of the Vast Mikester Comic Archives.

First thing I noticed is that, unlike the X-Men book, there aren’t any particular sequences that immediately leap out and grab your attention. This may simply be a structural problem: the DC book features Superman, Batman and Luthor (or some combination thereof) on nearly every page, giving a visual sameness to everything despite the number of artists, and the narrative thread flows (more or less) smoothly from beginning to end. In comparison, the X-Men book is more episodic, with several sequences focusing on individual characters in a variety of settings, giving a little more opportunity for visual diversity.

Not to say that there isn’t some nice work in the DC book…some Curt Swan, some Walt Simonson, some Carmine Infantino, the Neal Adams/Dick Giordano cover, and the following:

Gerry Conway, Barry Windsor-Smith and Jeff Jones (as noted by reader Matthew)

Ed Hannigan, Jack Kirby & Al Milgrom

…and, as reader Matthew also mentioned, this Bill Sienkiewicz back cover.

Of particular note is a two page sequence with Batman running the gauntlet at Luthor’s hideout, before facing Luthor himself, written by Robert Bloch and drawn by Bernie Wrightson and Mike Kaluta:

If only we could have had a whole comic by that team. Especially if it were Batman versus Luthor.

But overall, like I said, not as visually distinctive or interesting or just plain weird as Marvel’s effort. The story’s on pretty much the same level, though (another alien feeding on the starving people’s misery), so there’s that.

I was pleased that I correctly remembered this comic featuring the not-completely-evil Luthor of the pre-1980s revamp era…who’s genuinely moved by the plight of the suffering Africans when he’s not, you know, ranting about how he wants to kill Superman. Always thought that Luthor, the one who was occasionally capable of acting like a human being, was infinitely more interesting than the current Pure Evil Luthor inhabiting comics today.

One final bit: reader Cej speaks of a fellow he encountered at a con, collecting autographs of every member of the creative team for Marvel’s Heroes for Hope. Actually, I think that’s a neat idea…it’s certainly more interesting than collecting them all into a plain ol’ autograph book. And Cej says the guy only needed two more autographs at the time…and one of those was Stephen King’s. I wonder who the other was? Did the guy get Alan Moore to sign it, or was he the other holdout? We may never know.

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