Rating: 3/5 – Hyperion is Grounded.
By ComicSpectrum senior reviewer Shawn Hoklas.
I remember when writer J. Michael Straczynski wrote the Superman “Grounded” story in 2010. It was one of my least favorite stories about Superman that had the character walking across the United States trying to connect with the people he had sworn to protect. The concept had potential for telling smaller and more heartfelt stories and did what it set out to do by grounding the character, but in doing so took, it took away so much of the fantastic and super heroics I wanted to read about when picking up a Superman book. That same disappointment I had when reading Grounded came back again when reading this first issue of Hyperion written by Chuck Wendig with art by Nicole Virella.
I’m a little behind on the new Squadron Supreme series so it was a surprise to see that Hyperion, Marvel’s version of Superman, is now driving a truck across the country. Hyperion is approached by a girl named Doll who’s on the run from a gang called the Carnies. This gang looks like a motorcycle gang with some of the characters having some weird and strange powers, including one who, like DC’s Ragdoll, can contort his body into all sorts of poses. Hyperion struggles with wanting to keep his identity of Hyperion hidden and protecting the young girl from the gang. It’s not that the story isn’t well plotted or structured, it’s just so…grounded, that the story doesn’t seem not to use Hyperion’s full potential.
The art by Nicole Virella is solid and fits the story, which again takes away from the majesty and wonder of the character. I really like Virella’s art as she’s able to balance the character work and the backgrounds and give the small town settings a realistic feel, but if future issues bring Hyperion into more science fiction or superhero settings, I’m not sure if that same style will fit. There’s also a scene that was so obviously copied right from the latest Mad Max that we can call it an homage, but it seemed so blatant that it came off as out of place.
Overall, I think this first issue is taking Hyperion in a direction that doesn’t capitalize on his strengths, but may appeal to readers who have no past experience with the character. Not knowing he’s Marvel’s riff on Superman may allow them to get to know him before the more “Super” qualities are revealed. Personally, I’m not sure how long I’ll stay around to find out if he doesn’t start living up to his potential as a character.
Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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