Does this make me unpatriotic?
The only reason I picked this up was because of Stan Lee’s involvement, which I guess is funny because I’m not a huge fan of anything credited to the man. And most of the things credited to Stan Lee were made awesome by other people anyway. But it still felt obligatory. Maybe it’s because I’m graduating with a degree in comics and no one in comics ignores Stan Lee, as senile as people are calling him these days. Regardless, I wasn’t expecting much out of Heroman, which is why I don’t feel bad about dropping it at episode two.
Hell, I almost went ahead and dropped it at episode one.
Once again, I faced a protagonist I couldn’t sympathize with and whose circumstances didn’t interest me. Joey is a good and sincere kid, workin’ hard at a part-time job while going to school and being bullied by people bigger than him, blah blah blah. Pure-hearted characters with no apparent moral flaws bore me to death, and bullies being bullies for the sake of being bullies is also boring. Why should I care? Joey doesn’t even seem to really care about being bullied. Is it because he’s just that good? Or because he’s really afraid? If it’s the latter, he doesn’t do a very good job of showing it, so he doesn’t even have that going for him. I mean, it would be more interesting if he was seriously intimidated by the bullies, but he doesn’t seem to be, so whatever?
There was pretty much no way Heroman’s birth could have avoided being contrived and silly, so that didn’t bother me. The mech’s design is unique and kinda neat, and I think its serious business expression is a bit endearing. Unfortunately, its relationship with Joey is also boring. Joey gives impulsive, desperate commands, and Heroman complies. Joey doesn’t really do much beyond issuing the command, and Heroman doesn’t provide too much of a conflict point — he doesn’t disobey and he doesn’t overdo things. The perfect giant robot servant. Hurray. Snore.
At the end of the first episode, I was completely disinterested in seeing the second episode, but I felt like I should just so I’m not dropping on the first episode. I put it off. I got the second episode and still was disinterested in watching it. You know it probably isn’t worth it when you more or less have to force yourself to watch it just so you can say you gave it a chance, but there you go. In the second episode, it seemed like they were trying to play off the conflict as Joey being worried about having too much power, but it isn’t like Heroman really did much to warrant this worry. It just felt forced. And the aliens that have apparently come to destroy the earth? With no motivation given, I can only assume they’ll be a wave of generic “bad guys.”
I can’t decide what the target audience of this series is supposed to be. On one hand, the protagonist is in what, middle school? On the other hand, I would say much of Stan Lee’s works for Marvel had an “older teens” demographic, even if a lot of younger kids end up reading them. If Heroman is supposed to be aimed towards middle school kids, I guess I can pass it off as just something I’m not interested in. But if it’s supposed to be aimed towards a more general audience, one that might possibly include myself, then I will call it a disappointment. There’s nothing to set this apart from any number of other mecha action series and I’m bored.
In other news, I like how I always come back from long breaks with a “dropped” post.