Overview

Hell Yeah #1

Review

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Hell Yeah #1

Credits

  • Words: Joe Keatinge
  • Art: Andre Szymanowicz
  • Colors: Jason Lewis
  • Story Title: Last Day on Earths: The World They Made
  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Mar 7, 2012

A gorgeously drawn and colored new take on superheroes. 

Hell Yeah #1 is exactly what one would expect from a Harvey nominated writer, a great artist, and a fearless publisher.  Within one issue, writer Joe Keatinge creates a world with conflicted characters and fun and exhilarating fight sequences, all wrapped in a Utopian world that seems to be disguising very real threats.

In Hell Yeah, Keatinge’s world has been transformed by the emergence of actual superheroes, a once ideal and far-fetched possibility.  Much like the first arc of Grant Morisson’s JLA, Keatinge’s promising heroes transformed their world in a matter of years, intending to help the Earth evolve instead of invading and dominating it.  Behind the wonder and grace of the Earth’s new heroes, however, is the groundwork of a mystery that is sure to direct Hell Yeah for the rest of its run; where did the superheroes come from, what is their relationship to the world today, and how does lead character Benjamin Day fit into the fold?

Hell Yeah definitely establishes several threads and questions for Keatinge to explore and develop over the course of the series, but Hell Yeah would not nearly be as interesting and fun without Benjamin Day.  Day attends a private school for a maturing class of second-generation superheroes, though it is safe to say that his disposition is far from the studious student his professors would hope for.  His brash, tough, and fearless personality leads him into lashing out at “super-villains,” despite his success rate being less than perfect.  Day’s methods of acting out are firmly grounded in a history of teachers and adults comparing his life to his father’s, who made first contact with superheroes who now lead the world, all of which makes Day a more complicated and layered character.  It is clear that Keatinge intended Hell Yeah to be as much about great character work as it is exciting story.

With the story of Hell Yeah #1 focused on numerous characters and a story that crosses decades of time, Keatinge could not have found a better co-creator than Andre Szymanowicz.  Hell Yeah is a heavily focused on Benjamin Day and his robust cast of companions, each of which is instantly recognizable and memorable.  Beyond simple character designs, however, Szymanowicz captures action and motion quite well, as Day opens the book with a knock-down drag-out brawl, and ends the book on an explosive attack on the angry student’s school.  The art of Hell Yeah is not limited to Szymanowicz’s pencil work, however. Coloring the book is Jason Lewis, who adds a noticeable amount of emotion to almost every scene.  The emergence of the superheroes and their famous efforts, for example, are colored with a nostalgic tone, with warm yet washed out colors dominating the page, while a black and white scene recounts the violent first emergence of the superheroes, save for the red of human blood.  The combined art team of Hell Yeah works incredibly well together, carrying just as much of the story as Keatinge’s words.

With a fearless take on the superhero genre, Joe Keatinge and Andre Szymanowicz create a daring book that is equal parts superhero action and great character work.  Hell Yeah starts with a thrilling brawl, and ends with an explosive cliffhanger that blows the possibilities of the book wide open.  Though only one issue in, Hell Yeah is sure to excite and captivate new readers.

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