Prince of Heroes #1 to #2

By David Rasmussen, 24th Mar 08
David Rasmussen profile
Like rain, the malfunctioning crossing guard light that switches itself green from 2:30PM to 5:30PM, and FIXED NOISE toxic ramblings, there are some things you can rely on (even if you never really want to rely on the third and the second only applies to a street corner in Kamuela HI between the Post Office side and the Chveron gas stationÖ you know the light, state, you periodically have people monkey with the controls but never ever seem to fix it. Like those things, and more, when it comes to amazingly beautiful, awe inspiring visions of fantastic imagination, and jaw dropping visuals that would make the beloved Senior Miyazaki call Studio Ghibli and ask for the contract reps to be sent to America stat, you canít beat Rod Espinosa. Praised for his genius, held on high for his vision, and treasured for his skill with the AmeriManga/OEL Manga style (yeah, now Iím beginning to hear fellow reviewers throw about the OEL Manga termÖ ouch, am I really that stuck in my ways that I keep saying Ameri--- oh, wait, I am), Rod Espinosa has created a batch of great worlds for us to explore (and hopefully one day see translated to the silver screenÖ cough coughÖ hint hint)Ö

Even I have given props to the man himself. With such scores in the past for titles asÖ

Courageous Princess (recently reviewed).
5 out of 5 for itís beauty of writing, characters, beautiful artwork and overall greatness that rivals the best out there now in the genre (if not hands down beats it).
A+Ö or it would have been an A+ if my new Editor wasnít allergic to sharing, or close interpersonal reviews like weíre sharing now. And no, Iím not creepy or anything.

DinoWars
4 out of 5 aka a B. Probably the lowest I will ever go on a Espinosa title. Even his titles I have abit of wobble on theyíre still great, few creators can say they can create greatness and still get criticizedÖ OK, actually a lot can say that.

Neotopia
In the middle of reviewing (this week Iím looking at Volume 2) and itís getting consistant A+ hits from me. Why? Did you read it? Itís good!

So with that said (and yes, so many more of Espinosaís greatness to fawn over, so little actual content over at BookMooch.com to mooch, (People! Mooch more Antarctic Press graphic novels please -- ooh! Somebody just mooched Alice in Wonderland! Perfect!!) joy of joys as Espinosaís latest greatest work has come to the masses, and it has nothing to do with hyper intelligent Dinosaurs trying to take over the Earth after waging a Transformers style war amongst each other. No, itís back to the great wonderful world of Espinosa RPG video game worth imagination (only they still have yet to make any into games -- damn) with his latest work, Prince of Heroes.

Issue #1 & #2
Do you like Espinosaís work? Who doesnít.
Do you like him? Really really really really like him?
Do you like him to the point you will follow one title of his for this 3 issue miniseries, the first chapter of a 18 CHAPTER LONG STORY!!

Now letís seeÖ if all the Chapters are 3 issues apieceÖ and they come out continuously each and every month like clockwork without a breakÖ uh huhÖ it means weíre going to be reviewing Prince of Heroes from now until -- the Summer of 2012... Which is just as well since itíll end a few years after the Harry Potter movies, possibly the Chronicle of Narnia moviesÖ and about six or so months before the Mayan calendarís prediction of December 12th 2012 as the date of the end of the world as we know it. So no pressure, Mr. Espinosa, but be done before the world ends please. Thanks.

Oh, before we go on?
Yes. You can go on the internet right now and experience MORE Prince of Heroes!
PrinceofHeroes.com offers a weekly update of pages every Monday and Friday, and as of January (two months ago) they were past Page 40... Imagine where they are NOW!

Ongoing updates on this, a project that is only trumped in terms of longitude by Gold Digger and Ninja High School, will mean that even PrinceofHeroes.com will be updated as time goes onÖ but thatís the future. The distantÖ oh, check out www.rodespinosa.com, which is Rod Espinosaís own website!

Anyway where was IÖ oh, right, the review.
First off, a bit of backstory.

If you look at this title and something seems a tad familiar, and you happen to be an Espinosa fanatic? That is because this should be familiar to you (which just means I need to bone up on my past Espinosa and hope the following books are available at BookMooch.com soon). As it turns out Prince of Heroes is the continuation of a trilogy that Espinosa started back with ďChronicles of the UniverseĒ and ďBattle GirlzĒÖ two titles I have not read, but oh so want to (after reviewing Courageous Princess and Neotopia oh yes I sure want to review these). Of course the titleís intro by Mr. Espinosa claims you wonít need to know the last two series to enjoy this one, buuuuttttt he never said you shouldnít go get them anyway for your own self enjoyment. So, you know, go and get them for your own self enjoyment. Please. And if you get two please mooch a copy of each on BookMooch so, you know, I can get a copy and enjoy itÖ and review itÖ and both enjoy it and review it.

As Issue #1 starts we come to a desert planet to witness a strange caravan of what seems to be anamorphic hyena people riding zebras escorting a party of travellers towards a destination. Itís not a happy trip though.

Oh, meet Ronen (the Prince of this title). Young, brave, strong, fearlessÖ only heís not feeling it right now. He just wanted the simple life (no, not that Simple Life, nobody wants that) but now he knows he will never have that. His mom said heís destined for greatness, and his true heritage lies at the edge of the known universe. So heís going to take the first step, but getting the hell off the planet heís on as he and his mom (and their people) are being shown the exit by the not so pleased natives.

It seems for a Prince who will become the Prince of Heroes his blood 0his homies, his people, the other humanoids in his culture circle) kinda pissed off people when they had this whole ďGreat ExpansionĒ thing and ended up taking a lot of worlds for thousands of years. Well, now theyíre going back to their own original ďEmpireĒ size doing a galactic version of The Biggest Loser (and theyíll be far happier once that extra weight has been shed) which means the Prince is headed away from this place.

Suddenly the Prince is going to the local marketplace where he defends the locals from a bunch of thugs led by this Duke joker. Well, he manages to trounce them rather well, only for a strange staff wielding woman to interfere just as he has beaten the bullies. Issue #1 ends and we roll into Issue #2.

Turns out the woman is the Baroness Mazza Mezzo (or, as Iíd like to call her, ďthug enablerĒ). Look, lady, just because you got a shallow end of the gene pool as your brother doesnít mean you have to take his side and bully the innocent, you meanie you!

A fight ends up breaking out and sister enabler ends up getting harmed really badly.
Yeah. Somebody got herísÖ OK, all it does is just strip her down on clothes andÖ wellÖ makes her really really really mad. Look, like itís his faultÖ OK, maybe it was, but still you had it coming to you lady!

So, now wishing he was back to the beginning of Issue #1 and leaving the planet (because right now he should put a few parsecs of space between himself and the crazy psycho woman) heís on the run. Not good because sheís right behind him in hot pursuit.

Eventually they fight (again).
He knocks out the ladyís pissy brother (because heís off threatening the two kids who are the child stars of this storyÖ again).
He gets the lady ready to hand stuff him into a food processor by doing something I thought was only done in erotica and -- he pulls off her itsy bitsy little bottom clothes and -- yeah -- there will be hell to pa -- lady, your brotherís blushing! What a pervert!!

Somehow the situation ends.
Mostly because she canít chase him anymore because sheísÖ bare bottomed.
So thatís it, allís well that endís wellÖ in the endÖ in theÖ
Sorry. Bad choice of things to fixate onÖ hmmmÖ
Where was IÖ?

Oh, right.
Ronen stops off and seeísÖ Daredevil? Hmm! This planet doesnít need no stinkiní blind lawyersÖ oh, never mind.
Apparently the blind guy (who wears a black scarf over his face with no eyeholes since heís blind) is his teacher, and theyíre talking about Ronen getting a new teacher to teach him (oh, apparently this is a flashback that heís remembering, which means thankfully as he leaves the planet heís leaving the crazy now half naked woman behindÖ behindÖ IÖ yeah, stop that.)

Ronenís all bummed about leaving (which you saw at the start of Issue #1). However leave they must as it seems they are just a hairís breath from having a run-in with the very people that may be behind this whole Biggest Loser galactic space weight lost program Ronenís ďEmpireĒ is undergoing. In fact, as the issue ends, we see that they are just arriving as they are on their way out.

Do they get off the planet before the blockade goes up and theyíre trapped behind ďenemyĒ lines? Only timeÖ and Issue #3...will answer that.

But for now, the breakdown.

According to Mr. Espinosa itís been two years since heís undertaken such a project.
And what a long project it will be! With aboutÖ hmmÖ maybe at least 54 issues if all chapters are 3 issues a popÖ it is going to be a long long journey with the Prince and his future friends. And one we are all going to be glad weíre apart of.

Espinosa is on top of his game for Prince of Heroes.
All the same high quality artwork, visual splendor, grand scale of story (with generous amounts of the human element that makes his works so damn special) and that bit of whimsy and fun which makes for great reading. Itís all here, and itís all waiting for you.
Prince of Heroes is going to be a long trip, letís all gather together and take it one and all. Buy the issues (hope Antarctic Press arranges a subscription for it since itís going to be around for the long haul), buy the Graphic Novels (however thatís going to work out, either 100+ page bargain price books or longer yearbook collections or something inbetween), visit the homepage of the series, enjoy.

Prince of Heroes Chapter 1, Issues #1 & #2 of 3 gets the mark of greatness, as it deserves, as once again Rod Espinosa proves his greatness with another 5 out of 5 review.
Next time, the end of the first Chapter, and Prince of Heroes #3. Stay tuned.
Prince of Heroes © & ô Rod Espinosa

By David Rasmussen, 24th Mar 08

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