What do you do when you’re a tough guy forced to work your way out of purgatory? Why, you kill historical figures. Your Major Spoilers review of Heavy #1 from Vault Comics, awaits!
Writer: Max Bemis
Artist: Eryk Donovan
Colorist: Chris Peter
Letterer: Taylor Esposito
Publisher: Vault Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: September 16th, 2020
Previously in Heavy: Everyone in the Wait’s got a job. Bill is a Heavy, whose job is policing the multiverse, making sure bad eggs get what’s coming to them.
You Deserved It
Heavy #1 opens with the main character Bill, quickly narrating how he and his wife were killed and he ended up in The Wait working as a Heavy. It then transitions to him punching a child bully in the face before walking through a portal back to The Wait where his boss informs him that he has a new mission. An alternate version of Leonardo Da Vinci has used his genius to conquer Europe and needs to be taken out in order to reset the timeline. Before Bill embarks he speaks with some of his fellow Heavies who suggest he should take on a partner which Bill scoffs at. Bill then jumps into a portal into renaissance era Italy where he finds a perverted and naked Da Vinci. After completing his mission Bill sulks in his apartment and is visited by a hallucination of his dead wife and he relives how it came to pass that she and him were murdered. The next day he decides it’s time to get a partner. He is then assigned one as well as given a set of rules tied to the partner. He’s then introduced to his new partner.
Bravado On Purpose
There’s no way around it, Heavy #1 is a comic about tough guys and machismo and it has little time for anything else. It’s not even that there’s an absence of anything deeper than that. There is a conscious decision to acknowledge the morality and philosophy of being dead, killing as work, and the nature of heaven and hell, then basically say none of it matters. On top of this, Heavy does something that will always bother me: It tries to excuse itself from being cliche, by announcing the cliches which only highlights them more. This is a strange decision, considering that there are things here that break the typical “tough guy kills people” formula and have potential to make Heavy an interesting book even if it’s bending over backwards trying to tell you it’s not.
Good Looking Ugliness
The art in Heavy #1 has a very Ford Escort quality to it. It’s not bad, it’s not trying to do too much, it does exactly what it needs to do, but there isn’t much to really set it apart from others. The one thing Eryk Donovan does particularly well are the more grotesque moments. Oftentimes you’ll get artists who really go over the top when it comes to ugly moments, but here we get some restraint and it’s little details that drive home that some of these characters are just ugly people.
The Bottom Line: Interested To See Where This Goes, Regardless of Missteps
Heavy #1 isn’t a perfect comic by any stretch of the imagination. It’s strange writing decisions on top of a strong focus on bravado and tough guy motifs are off putting. Yet, even with these things working against it, there’s some legitimately interesting things happening here in the background that makes this one deserving of a glance and at least a second issue. 3 out of 5 stars
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Heavy #1 does itself no favors by falling back on some cliches and then pointing them out to the reader. Yet, if you look past that there’s some nuggets of an interesting setup and universe to be had.