Pied Piper Graphic Album #1: Hero Alliance – End of the Golden Age GN (Pied Piper Press, 1986).

§ February 2nd, 2010 § Filed under from the vast Mikester comic archives § 4 Comments

I remember an extensive preview in Amazing Heroes catching my attention for this graphic novel (by Kevin Juaire, David Campti, Ron Lim, Michael Whitherby, and others) and subsequent series. In a way, it was kind of a proto-Astro City, throwing the reader into a generational superhero saga with just a touch of poignancy and a focus on how superheroes and “the real world” interact. This initial installment focuses on Victor, one of the last original heroes still active, and his encounter with the villainous son of a former comrade. Here’s a quick shorthand sequence of how Victor experienced the passage of time and changing attitudes:

This came out during the period of reimaginings of superheroes in “realistic” terms, trying to play out the implications of superheroic activity and relationships to their logical ends. Watchmen and Marvelman and even Mark Gruenwald’s Squadron Supreme series were part of this movement, if not outright defining it, and Hero Alliance kind of falls within this spectrum. Maybe more toward Squadron Supreme‘s more “traditional superhero” end than the “dismantling of the genre” end of the Alan Moore works, but it’s definitely an attempt at a more mature superhero story.

The follow-up monthly series from Innovation unfortunately didn’t keep my interest for all of its short run (I only bought 11 of the 17 issues), and it did have maybe a few too many cheesecake-y covers, which wasn’t unusual for this particular publisher. But for a while there, Hero Alliance was an interesting series, and a reasonably successful experiment in an alternate take on superheroic funnybooks. I wouldn’t mind seeing this reprinted in a volume or two for modern audiences, someday.

4 Responses to “Pied Piper Graphic Album #1: Hero Alliance – End of the Golden Age GN (Pied Piper Press, 1986).”

  • Jeff Albertson says:

    Wasn’t that the series that had a female character whose powers were dependent on her being aroused? I seem to recall that being used to “explain” why why she always had erect nipples.

  • Cej says:

    I had high hopes for the series (hey, I was 16!). I remember one issue in particular where Victor was talking about all the great things people with powers could do that didn’t involve heroics (e.g., speedsters would make great umpires because they could see if the runner were really safe or not).

    Alas, it did become cheesecake/beefcake central which would have been okay had the story been more interesting.

  • Alan Bryan says:

    17 Issues?? I have less than 10 and I really liked the series and the concept was way ahead of anything else then. The Graphic Novel rocked.

    Distro was spotty for the regular comics though and I guess that’s why I missed them.
    Anyone for a revival of Hero Alliance?

    Alan aka jettblackberryx

  • Mikester says:

    Testing. Don’t mind me.