The Helm #1


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The Helm #1


  • Words: Jim Hardison
  • Art: Bart Sears
  • Inks: Randy Elliot
  • Colors: Dan Jackson
  • Story Title: Part One (of 4)
  • Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Jul 16, 2008

When Mathew’s life crumbles right before his eyes, the lure of a garage sale and his evident attention deficit disorder lead him to a house of mystical relics.  When a super hero type asks the proprietor for help, Mathew does what any broke loser would do with a helmet that claims he is destined to greatness with its help, he steals it.  Thing is the helmet decided that the fates have played a dirty nasty trick on him and wants nothing to do with the guy who is running off with him.

This is the debut comic for Jim Hardison and it stands out in two completely different ways.  The first and most important is the fun that is to be had here.  You quickly realize that Mathew is not the kind of guy who should be fighting fantastic goblins, dwarves, and other monsters.  The fact that the Helm can’t figure this all out before Mathew puts it on his head makes for comedy gold.  The conduit for Mathew’s magical superpowers hates him and may be would like him to die as that is the only way that the two can be separated.  It is a situation that would make one hell of a sitcom for Sci-Fi Channel or Fox.  Especially given the fact that the Helm tells our hapless would be hero way too much about the deal before he figures out what a loser this guy is.

The second part of the book that really stands out is the stereotype prevalent in Mathew’s character.  The guy is a gamer, evidenced by the choice of tee shirts he wears.  He lives in his mother’s basement.  He is overweight.  When his girlfriend breaks up with him at work he bursts in to tears and freezes up with a line of customers waiting for him to check them out thus losing his job.  Yeah, playing him off as a gamer is nice and all, but us comic fans know who Hardison is needling here.  I’d half expect the internet to be fuming about all of this, except it’s a Dark Horse book and well it’s kind of true.  You know it is, come on, unless you use DCBS.  Its safe for me to say this, I am overweight.  Stereotypes are often a glimpse at a larger truth.  It would be appalling to see if Hardison didn’t address the problem with such vicious humor both in the comic itself and in the letters page.  If we can’t laugh at ourselves then what’s the point.

Bart Sears is doing the breakdowns here and Randy Elliot does the finishes.  Fans of Sears will notice that Elliot does not stray too far from the source.  Detractors of Sears will be unmoved by the lines here.  It conveys the script well and is incredible in its ability to show emotion.  The art is just as playful as the script.

All in all this is the beginning of what promises to be a fun series.  Don’t take it too seriously and just have fun with it.


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