While Superheroes are by no means a new idea, the notion that these same heroes need retiring and/or controlling in some fashion is one which has only been around since the arrival of Watchmen and one which continues to grow in recent years with comics such as Civil War. This week we take a look at More than Men by Evan Waterman and Butch Mapa, as it focuses on a superhero team in a world full of superpowers and asks ‘are heroes still relevant’?
Publisher: Evan Waterman Comics
Writer: Evan Waterman
Artist: Butch Mapa (Pencils/Inks), Fahriza Kamaputra, Valerie St. Gelais (Colours), Evan Waterman (Letters)
Price:Free from evanjwaterman.com/comic
More than Men follows the story of the League, the once premier superhero team whose reputation and value has diminished greatly in a world where anyone can possess superpowers. However, despite this new super-powered society offering everything from telekinetic waitresses to specialised super-powered police units, the League continue to try and make a difference as the people they wish to help begin to see them more as the problem than the solution. Can this band of superheroes continue to show themselves as a force for good in this new, powered world, or are they now obsolete and out of touch with a society which can match them?
Evan Waterman takes an interesting look at the idea of superheroes with More than Men, and this first issue comes across as a sort of mash up between The Boys and Watchman. However, Waterman offers up a more contemporary look at super heroics than either of those, focusing on a similar question of ‘are superheroes necessary?’ to other comics but told from a more hero aligned standpoint which gives it a unique feel. That said, beyond this change of perspective, the story does seem very run of the mill, with little character development to invest readers in the protagonists as well as limited backstory about the world as a whole. Of course, these things may well be planned for a second issue, but without them here they don’t feel very engrossing.
The art, while perfectly capable, seems very middle of the road and does not stand out. Of course, that’s no bad thing as Butch Mapa’s pencils are solid throughout the issue, offering a ‘house’ style often seen with Superhero comics but with a darkened edge to it. Mapa’s pencils are further enhanced by a moody colour scheme during the first half of the title which really suits the tone of the story. However, while also quality work, the second half’s colouring takes a noticeable departure which makes the art look a little less different. Beyond that though, there is little to say about the sequentials of More than Men, with very few noteworthy panels, except for an assassination towards the end which is the only one which really leaves a mark.
More than Men is a comic which takes an interesting stance on the familliar concept of Superhero legitimacy. However, while both the writing and the story are good, it is a title which struggles to take a different idea and make it compelling. Especially in a world which already includes titles like Vanguard, and Powers which do this really well. That said, while issue one is a very middle of the road outing, it lines up ideas which could make a second instalment the compelling read we were hoping for.