Hero Tomorrow Comics 2018
Written by Ted Sikora & Milo Miller
Illustrated by Benito Gallego
Coloured & Lettered by Ted Sikora
They Call It Helltown Turn On, Tune In, Drop Dead!
Apama just saved the city so he's probably earned a little time off, right? Not a chance. Instead our 'Mane Man' discovers that the urban legend of Helltown is a lot more than just a good campfire spook story. There's a certain psycho-delic mistress of mayhem that will ensure Apama's stay there will be nasty, short, and brutish (not-to-mention groovy beyond compare).
I am enjoying this series immensely and yes the name Apama is of a fictional or as yet undiscovered species of animal which makes it that much more interesting to me. The fact that we know for a fact that there are as yet unknown species alive and extinct everyone from the frozen tundra to the unexplored rain forests. So that Ted and company have decided to go this route is something I can wholeheartedly get behind. Vixen has her totem, the original Blue Beetle’s scarab granted him his powers and the American Flag and Ragman’s suit each gifted its wearer with powers so that Apama gets his from his suit, well it augments him or activated him I'm not sure the classification, puts him in damn good company.
Without a manual or some sort training guide it’s fun to see him stumbling around in the dark making it up as he goes along. Quite honestly when the heroes started out they had no one to guide them other than their own moral compass. Trying to do what you feel is best doesn’t always work the way you want it to or plan on it but then again we learn from our mistakes, hopefully. Ted and Milo manage to infuse those philosophies into this extremely well and make Ilyia one of the more interesting characters in comics right now. I mean he’s kind of a loser and he makes a living driving an Ice Cream Truck and with those dreads and his timid personality well let’s just say they really created a character with the utmost potential for growth.
I like the way that this book is structured starting with the inside cover. I adore the fact that it has a recap there where we can see and learn what’s come before. More series should have this so that a new reader would get a nice little boost on what they about to look at. Then the way that the story flows through these pages is fantastic to see as what started out as a training session, testing himself and the powers he has, turns into a fight to save the life of a young woman and not to mention his own. It is easy to read, fun, interesting and the way characters are introduced feel natural.
The interiors here are pretty darn interesting to me. Benito uses a very distinct style for this one different from “traditional” comic book style that we see today but kind of a this fusion of some akin to Kirby and what we consider traditional. I’ve seen his work elsewhere and you can his signature style in all of them but this feels very much for this series. The way we see the linework here is extremely well done and the attention to detail he creates with it has a great look and feel to it. The utilisation of page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels shows us a solid eye for storytelling. That backgrounds are utilised so well also makes me a happy camper. Ted also does some really nice work on the colours and making them fit the work superbly.
This book is fun, quirky and feels like the Everyman finally got his wish for a costume and powers. We can relate to Ilya, except those damn dreads, because we are him and he is us and would we be any better at this, no we wouldn’t we all know it. This is sensationally written and illustrated and keeps proving my point why you need to be reading comics from small press companies.