Comic books, Literature

Review: Halcyon (2010) #1 to 4

Title: Halcyon
By: Tara Butters and Marc Guggenheim (writers), Ryan Bodenheim (art)
Year of publication: 2010 to 2011
Publisher: Image

Halcyon starts with the premise that crime is at an all-time low all over the world. At first, it’s assumed this is due to the efforts of the world’s super heroes, but it quickly becomes clear that the cause is not natural. Zenith, the “world’s greatest super hero”, is approached by the suspicious-minded Sabre, who, despite being discouraged by the other A-list heroes, insists on looking the gift horse in its mouth and investigating the cause.

The premise is simple, but the suspense is built up with skill. The writer favours storytelling over effects, and plenty of time is taken to reveal the plot points one by one. The art is clean and detailed, although not very dynamic. This was a book I couldn’t put down – I just had to get the next issue.

On the downside, the characters feel generic and not very deep. It’s hard not to compare Zenith to a female version of Superman, Sabre to Batman, and their team to the Justice League, since these have become almost archetypal in the comic book world. The characters are more a vehicle to the story than ends in themselves, and Zenith and Sabre are the only ones which are anything close to well-developed. This is excusable, though, since the main focus is on the storyline and it’s enough to carry the book very well.

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