The “Evil Hero” trope is a good one, but that’s not really what’s going on in Zenescope’s E.V.I.L Heroes books. None of the antagonists in this story are heroic. Writer and Zenescope co-founder Joe Brusha takes on a daunting challenge: Bring readers into a tale where the superpowered of the world are despots, delighting in enslaving humanity, murdering those who stand against them, and, um… blowing up the moon? A little?
This book has great imagery that relies very heavily on our relationships with the characters that do not appear in this book and whose likenesses are “entirely coincidental.” However, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. If you let yourself get past the fact that Chaos is so painfully obviously Superman that it hurts your head to think of him as anything otherwise, you can enjoy this story as a kind of alternative, house-brand version of the DC universe. It’s like you picked up your superheroes at Aldi. And that’s ok. Guys, they’re comic books– they’re supposed to be fun to read.
If your thing is superpowered villains blowing things up and then standing around for amazing cover shots in destroyed iconic locations, this book is your messiah. Seriously. It’s a good story, it’s got good intrapersonal interactions (even if they’re a little on the nose) and it’s fun in the same sense that Freddy Krueger movies are fun. They’re not supposed to be cerebral forays Superman and Wonder Woman’s relationship with human-kind.
In fact, if this was called “DC COMICS PRESENTS WHAT IF?” people would be ranting about how great it is.
You should give this book a chance. Even though you see the ending coming, there is a satisfying conclusion, and then an appropriately teasing post-script.
This is a good comic book. If you like comic books. At the end of the day, all you want from a pop-corn comic is to flip the last page of the book and feel satisfied. E.V.I.L. Heroes is an easy book to dislike, at first glance it feels derivative (if not outright plagiaristic,) but with a little effort, readers can enjoy the story told in this six-issue series.
And like popcorn and Chinese food, a few hours later, you’ll probably be hungry again. That’s ok. That’s what is what this story is supposed to do.