Planet M ProductionsSocial Link: @HeroicsPod
Written by Jusin McLachlan
When their comic-shop-as-a-front beings to struggle, a group of superheroes experiment with different career paths a little more… villainous than heroic.
Superheroes in today's day and age is hard. Any talk of superheroes is immediately overshadowed by Marvel, DC and the countless other superhero franchises out there. The Superhero landscape has gone from a scant and scarce option in the 90’s to the massive cultural juggernaut that it is today.
So to do a superhero narrative podcast is tricky. How can you set your characters apart? How can you make it interesting? When so much of a superhero franchise is based around stunning visuals and elaborate set pieces, how do you translate that to a non-visual medium?
Well - in many ways you don’t. Heroics, much like his previous show EOS_10 thrives on it’s dynamic and exciting dialogue. The typical banter in most other superhero franchises is cranked up to an absurd degree so that every scene is stuffed full of jokes - but never enough that it detracts from the quality of the characters.
I love the main idea of this piece- that superheroes tired of not making money decide to turn to a life of crime to make ends meet. It’s a good concept- but it’s never taken as far as I wanted it to be. The consequences are that the main conflicts of the series feel a bit more inconsequential- and while they’re all memorable and funny- it never quite ramps up to the massive impact that is promised to the audience.
Now these are some funny characters. Well written, with good dynamics and fantastic dialogue. It’s well acted, well paced and a hell of a lot of fun. These people are memorable and clever and fun. They’re all likeable despite the fact that even though they’re heroes- none of them are very good people.
Gwen kicks this story off in the middle of a fight with a nemesis which quickly takes a dark and hilarious turn - which leads to one of the best running jokes in piece “they always come back”. The promise of Gwen’s turn to the dark side is enticing- which then gets even more hilarious as it repeats in all the other characters equally absurd revelations.
The issue is that as superheroes- we want to have a sense of what their abilities are. What are their powers? What are they able to do? While I have a good sense of most of the characters in a short amount of time- the specific what’s about them remain elusive. For instance- Persephone is an amazing character: funny, dry, quick witted, capable- but at the end of the series I’m still not entirely sure what her abilities were. Often we need to wait a few episodes before we find out about them- and even when we do, they often aren’t executed to their full potential.
Despite this- it never once interfered with my enjoyment of the piece. I love the characters, I love the comedy and I love the stories. Even though it can sometimes feel a bit fractured, it’s always enjoyable and moves at such a pace where you’re never tired or bored. In fact, the story is strongest when it’s not relying on the superpowers and instead on the dynamics and frustrations of their day jobs of running the comic book store.
There is much to like here. I love the characters, and their use of comedy is excellent. I love the light hearted spirit of it and the excellent running jokes. The only major drawback is that it often tries to capture too much, and that there’s a lot of loose threads left hanging that I trust will be solved when the next season hits.
In the next season, I do hope that the focus is more honed and that they can spend a bit more time developing the overall plot instead of hopping from little fire to little fire- but if this is how this piece starts then I think it’s safe to say that I’m very excited for the next season and can’t wait to tune in again soon.
Rating: 4/5 Supervillains
Technical: Excellent Quality
Voice Acting: Pristine
Characters: Well Defined and varied - but Many
Length: Medium - 30-50 minutes
Watching Closely: Are You?
Rating: 5 Spooky Figures in a snowstorm
Review by Matti McLean - @thebigshibam
Can't Stand Sitting Productions is currently airing Tin Wings.