Review: No Hero #7 by Warren Ellis and Juan Jose Ryp

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Bleeding Cool ran a preview of this issue, earlier this week. The series has been set in and around a superhero team which have made an effect on history, but not too much. Just enough to piss the right kind of people off. Set up against state oppression in the sixties but to keep themselves in business and have created a non-inconsiderable independent power base for the leader Carrick. Basically takes the idea of Xavier’s school and mixes it with the ambition of The Avengers. And they’ve had a new member who has turned on them in quite a vicious way, culminating in the end of issue 6 which has now become one of those oh-my-gods-did-you-see-that-page moments in comics history.

Which means issue 7 has a lot to live up to.

no hero2And it doesn’t manage it quite. Oh there’s at least one astoundingly violent scene which might have you reaching for the bucket… but it’s not quite the reveal of a spinal pubic prosthesis is it?

The art beautifully portrays every detail of these appalling scenes, reminiscent of Rick Vietch, Steve Bissette or John Totleben channelled through the obsession of Geoff Darrow. However Juan’s people aren’t quite as convincing when they are not covered in blood, guts or spinal fluid or being smashed into tiny bits of rubble, so thankfully there’s lots of this here.

And it does have a decent ending. In fact it’s kind of the ending the Minority Report chickened out of, where honourable intentions and even actions against an oppressive evil can have all sorts of negative impacts.

Because the execution of Saddam Hussein really brought peace to Iraq, didn’t it?

This series has been a worthy successor to Black Summer in terms of superheroes and their effect on a world, rejecting the Marvelman hypothesis that the world would change unalterably. Both here and in Black Summer the world finds a way to retain it’s filthy, horrific independence, even if it leaves people far worse off. They’re free-ish to enjoy their misery.

It’s an allegory for the US healthcare system isn’t it?

No Hero #7 is published by Avatar today.