COMIC REVIEW: Creator Owned Heroes

Something of a side project for a few big name creators, Creator Owned Heroes seeks to bring some original content to the comic world, in a different way. Something of an anthology, something of a general comic magazine, entirely entertaining, we find two different stories as the main feature of Creator Owned Heroes.

First up, Steve Niles and Kevin Mellon team up to bring us American Muscle, where a motley group of survivors have left one of, if not the last remaining human stronghold in a post-apocalyptic world. Though the cause of the end of the world is never explained, you get the feeling that something terrible happened and humanity may never recover. As the group races across the wasteland that is the United States in their battered muscle cars, they encounter some problems with their journey, which they solve in an inventive way. As they reach their destination, what “some dickhead told them was paradise” they find it was not quite what it was made out to be. As Chloe and Monica explore and the rest of the group deal with their disappointment, we find that maybe the group isn’t quite as alone out in the wasteland as we thought.

Next up, we have TriggerGirl 6 by Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, and Phil Noto. The story revolves around a TriggerGirl, a super assassin tasked with taking out a senator as he flies to an unknown destination.  We see the sixth in a line of super assassins as she awakens from her incubation.  She silently stalks away, dressing, grabbing weapons, and leaving on her first mission. She takes out her target without a word, only apologizing to a pilot as she takes him out. “Orders are orders”, she says before she glides away, with an explosion in the background.

In addition to two awesome stories, we get some cosplay from the model of the TriggerGirl costume, an interview with Neil Gaiman, photos from cons, and plenty more. The amount of great content packed into the pages of Creator Owned Heroes is absolutely astounding to me.

Both art and storywise, American Muscle is just wonderful. I like the idea of a group of survivors just leaving the safe haven to explore the world with their trusty muscle cars. The art and story match up well, enhancing the overall impact of the comic. Niles and Mellon are a great team, if this single, short peek is any indication. The two work well together and bring a very, very promising new creator-owned property to the world of comics.

Palmiotti, Gray, and Noto deliver a great collaboration as well. The art, at first, didn’t sit well with me, but on my second reading, I feel in love with it a little bit. The more I read, the more the story and art complimented each other and meshed together so well. Definitely a great creative team that I look forward to seeing things from in future issue.

I just have to say that I almost immediately fell in love with Creator Owned Heroes. Something about it was just instantly likable. The idea of two unrelated stories in one book each month, along with interviews, cosplay, and whatever else they can potentially cram into it, is something that definitely piques my interest. The potential of other creators coming on to showcase their own stories is an exciting idea, and something that fits in so well at Image.

This may just be one of my new favorite books since it’s so diverse and great. I definitely can’t wait for more from the teams, and hope this is successful beyond their wildest dreams. Anyone who is a fan of independent, creator-owned comics should definitely pick up this little gem.

Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Leo Johnson

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