ACW #638 – Hero Hotline

Action Comics Weekly #638 (Hero Hotline)
Writer/Colors – Bob Rozakis
Pencils – Stephen DeStefano
Inks – Kurt Schaffenberger
Letters – Agustin Mas
Editor – Brian Augustyn

So, who remembers all the members of Hero Hotline from last week?  I mean, it’s only like a dozen folks you’ve never seen before… or since!  It’s not that hard to remember ’em all, right?!

Okayokay, here’s a quick-n-dirty for ya:

The big muscle-y guy is Mr. Muscle.
The dude with the eye-gimmick is Private Eyes.
The guy who can stretch is, uh, Stretch.
The girl with the diamond on her head is Diamondette.
The kid with the fire powers is Hot Shot.
The lady who looks like a mom is Microwave Mom.
The weirdo who can throw his voice is Voice-Over.
… and SOOZI-Q as The Beaver.

Easy peasy!

Picking up right where we left off, Diamondette is being held up by the geek with the razor… who proves to be nothing more than a minor irritant.  Ya see, Diamondette works for Hero Hotline, and so it might stand to reason that she’s got herself some super-powers.  She hi-yah‘s the razor… rendering the geek unarmed.  He immediately gives himself up.  We can see that newbie, Hotshot is quite taken with Ms. Diana Theotocopoulos.  Must be the Mr. Sinister-esque diamond on her forehead…

After the daring capture of the geek, SOOZ reminds Stretch that he’s still got a cat to rescue from a tree.  I tell ya what, these Heroes are always on-call.  He nabs the newbie, and they head out for the save.  Meanwhile, Mister Muscle and Private Eyes are still on the Melanie Boulder case.  Turns out, she vanished while touring some meat freezers… ya see, she was about to start her “Meat is For Me” promotion.  A woman after my own heart!

While Microwavabelle is watching some microwave recipes on Cooking Avec Craig, a call comes in regarding a robbery at a liquor store downtown.  She and Voice-Over get the gig… and we learn that Microwave Mom’s husband, Martin had been killed in just the area they’re setting out to investigate!

Somewhere outside, Stretch and Hotshot find Nancy and Sluggo’s cat.  Hotshot (who gets his code-name here) decides that he’ll give rescuing it a go.

He does this by… ya know, shooting the cat in the butt with his flames.  Just like ya do.  You’d figure it might be easier… and less dangerous… for the super stretchy guy to, super-stretch and nab the bugger… but, that’s not how we do things here.

We wrap up back at the meat freezers, where Brother Bicep and Private Eyes are asking around about Ms. Boulder.  They come across an old coot who refers to the lady as a “Siren of Satan”… before saying he hasn’t seen her.  The heroes leave… and we come to find that the old man was (gasp) lying!  Melanie Boulder is on ice!

There’s something to be said for “hand holding”.  Ya hear it a lot these days… much of our consumable entertainment gets grief for holding our hands too much.  Look at video games, for example.  So many “current year” games are written off as being 50% tutorial and 50% actual game.  We never needed a pop-up to tell us to “Press A” for Mario to jump… or tilt your analog stick left to make him… ya know, move to the left.

I feel like this hand holding has, for the most part, made us dumber.  It’s like we now expect to have our hands held sort of as a guiding force for whatever we do.  So, what’s dumb bloggin’ boy to do when he comes across something like Hero Hotline?  Well, besides thinking way too hard for “deep” and thought-provoking analogies, he might just find himself struggling to find the best way to present everything that happens… in a way that allows a reader to appreciate the story, while managing to identify and follow the myriad of the characters.

To be perfectly honest, this feature might’ve been the one I was most looking forward to… and my most dreaded.  I wanted to share this because, well, it’s a lot of fun… and it’s really, really weird.  At the same time, it’s a tough one to keep track of… it’s kind of the comics discussing/reviewing equivalent of “herding cats”.

Have I blathered on long enough without saying anything?  Okay.

As a chapter, it’s unsurprisingly, a lot of fun.  I am really digging the weird veteran/rookie relationship between Stretch and Hotshot.  I also appreciate Hotshot having the hots(hot) for Diamondette.  Feels like they’re, in a small way, “world building” here.  We’re planting seeds for future stories and potential relationships… and, to me, that’s always a good thing.

We learn a little bit about Microwave Mom’s past here.  Her husband was murdered… which is something I didn’t even remember.  Her tag-team partner for this latest outing (Voice-Over) remains my favorite member of the team.

The Melanie Boulder sub-plot… is probably the one that will leave the biggest mark on the team (in the form of a new member), but… it’s kind of the dullest thing going at the moment.

Well, we’re at the halfway point for this feature… no sooner will we learn all these folks’ names, than they’ll be nyoinked out of our pages!  Oh well, whattayagonnado?  I hope you’re all enjoying this one!

Tomorrow: The Fellowship… freed!

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