Tuesday, July 23, 2013

1st Impression: Henchmen # 1 Review

Written by Jamison Raymond
Art by Ryan Howe & RSquared Studios
Robot Paper


                 Meet Gary. Gary has had his share of bad luck. He loses his job and his wife leaves him on the same day … taking their daughter with him. And then he gets put into the hospital, where he is dealing with Liver failure. 

                Yet, an ad changes Gary’s life as he goes to a warehouse … and becomes a Henchman for a supervillain known as the Head-Pin of Crime … with him and the other Henchmen dressed as bowling pins.

                When the Head-pin’s arch enemy shows up, a hero named The Striker, to stop them from raiding a bank. Yet, Gary decides he’s not going to follow the Head-Pin anymore during the battle with The Striker, as most of the other Henchmen get taken down; Gary decides that it is smarter to take the money while Head-Pin and Striker are fighting and vamoose. Two other Henchmen follow his lead and Gary finds that he might not be bad for a life as a robber/henchman.

                Ryan Howe has the art duties with this book and I have to say that at first, the work was not lighting the world on fire for me. It was okay. Detail was nice but it seems that as this first issue went, the better the art was to me. Howe seemingly caught his stride during the second half of the book as the art got better and better with each page and panel.

                The style is simplistic yet added detail to fit much of the meta in comics these days. Howe’s work gets sharper and cleaner as the book goes along so once we see the Head-Pin and The Striker, Howe is showing us really good, solid pencils and inks. The faces were a bit . . . messy at first but got cleaner and looked really good by the middle of the book.  RSquared’s colors really shine in this first issue.  The mundane was colored with whites and beiges … make it very mundane. The night shots were colored and shaded correctly.  The bank robbery was well colored … reflecting it being night but also the battle between Head-pin and the police/The Striker.

                Howe’s growing pains this issue came through with solid art with RSquared doing great with colors.


                Jamison Raymond takes a simple yet innovative concept and runs away with it in this first issue. Focusing on Gary and using him as the main narrative, readers can really feel for Gary given his situation. Gary had his whole life fall apart in a way that anyone can relate to him. Then the building on it of Gary becoming a Henchmen made the world of super heroes that much more relatable.

                The characters in this book are varied … Gary’s wife to Head-Pin to Crowbar; Raymond is making statements about classic superhero comics and people all at the same time with them.  Raymond’s narrative also captures the absurdity of Super Hero comics as well … having Gary flat out saying that their boss is an idiot. Raymond uses this to examine people who are not assertive … followers instead of leaders and what happens when one of the followers is smart enough to know that their leader is a bad one.

                Raymond fills this issue with great statements about the world today, super hero comics, people and over all relationships between the “grunts” ;yet, he makes it easy to relate to and a fun read.  The pacing of the book is excellent. And the setting works. Raymond really gives his innovative idea a great amount of life in a satisfy and full first issue.


                An innovative concept with a gripping, relatable story with gradually good art. I smell winner.


                While the art at the beginning brings it down a little bit, this was great. I give Henchmen # 1 a 7.5 out of 10.

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