Written by Joey Falco | Art by Roy Allan Martinez | Published by Titan Comics | Format: Paperback, 32pp
The first issue of this new Heroes Reborn mini-series was decent, without being much more. It is hard to be too critical of these Heroes mini-series, as I believe their heart is genuinely in the right place, but they do consistently underwhelm the reader, tantalising us with just enough to keep us reading but then fail to deliver. The first issue of Heroes: Godsend had all those same flaws, so I was hoping this issue would pick up the slack and prove me wrong.
Godsend is Farah Nazan, an American Muslim who has the ability to turn invisible, and who has been trained in the art of unarmed combat. She, in the anti-Muslim hatred following 9/11, used her abilities to help her local communities, to fight back against racist violence, but kept firmly out of sight. This angle is a nice hook, but in many ways she is essentially early years Peter Parker; seemingly a normal student by day, avenging hero by night, a comparison reinforced even more by a sequence showing us her lack of a social life as she knocks back a boy who asks her out. Take away the Heroes connection, this would be very generic superhero writing indeed, but what saves this issue somewhat is the fact we dive head on into the Heroes-verse. This, at last, gives us a context we can now identify with.
Farah is doing an internship at Primatech Paper, which as we know from the TV show is actually just a front; she soon realises, after a very transparent ‘fight’ between Noah Bennett and The Haitian (if you don’t know who they are you are probably reading the wrong book) that she has been recruited by Primatech so she can be watched and tested. She is genuinely amazed that The Haitian can still ‘see’ her, even when invisible, and realises there are other super powered individuals out there. As a reader I am so used to the big shared universes of Marvel and DC, it was quite refreshing for a character to be surprised they weren’t the only special ones in town.
We get drawn deeper in as she next meets Angela Petrelli, who has a job for which Farah’s skill set is well suited; break someone out of prison. I should say Angela Petrelli’s plural, as there are two of her somehow, one much older than the other. The person that Farah has to break out of prison is Linderman, an individual who can heal anyone with a touch. As seen in the original Heroes show however, Linderman is a pretty nasty piece of work, so this is all a big risk. Why take the risk? Old Angela is guarding a sick young girl called Malina who is dying, but who is also supposed to grow up to save the world in the future. Farah takes on the job to bring Linderman back, and sneaks into the prison.
This issue is actually done pretty well, but would be thoroughly confusing to non-watchers of not only Heroes: Reborn, but also the original show. Also, although the sense of drama is nice, we know from the TV show (which features a grown up Malina and an older Farah) these characters are ultimately safe, which takes away that sense of risk and danger. All that being said, for a watcher of both versions of the show like me, this was an enjoyable issue story wise. The art, however, was a distraction. I thought it very static, single panel pictures rather than flowing as a whole, and at times strangely muted, almost out of focus. The colouring didn’t help either.
While still not quite there yet, this was a better issue than last, and should be commended for that. Not one for newbies, but satisfying enough for fans of the TV show.
Heroes: Godsend #2 is out now from Titan Comics