by Whitney Grace
Joey Jones (we can feel Stan the Man’s influence already) is a down on his luck teenager, working two jobs to stay live. He has good friends and good enemies, but he tries to make the best of his lot. What he wants most is Heybo, a remote-controlled robot toy. He can’t afford to buy one, but his luck turns when one is tossed in the trash. Joey snatches the opportunity to repair the toy and rename it Heroman. Ill fortune came with Joey’s good luck when aliens invade the Earth. Heroman transforms into a giant robot and saves the Earth. Do Joey and Heroman have the gumption to team up and be the heroes the Earth needs?
Heroman follows the typical plot of a young boy befriending a giant robot. He has to save the Earth from danger and, though, he questions whether he is suited for the role it does not take him long to decide that he must. Little time is spent internalizing emotions, because it used for action scenes and what little story development that takes place after the first chapter. We do not know exactly why the aliens are invading or how Heroman became so powerful.
These answers are probably reserved for future volume:
It is a typical shonen manga with the exception there is an American comics legend attached to the concept. What fails to interest me is that it falls into so many traps common to the shonen genre. I do not know if this is intentional and they plan on doing something new and original or if Stan Lee simply had a basic concept and sold it. Lee’s name is so ubiquitous and manga is so popular, putting the two together is an excellent marketing strategy, but I do not think it adds anything new.
My negativity aside, will the intended audience off thirteen and younger enjoy the Heroman manga? Yes, they will because it fits the formula and the characters are likeable enough. The robot’s design is a little weak, lacking the visually appeal of the Gundam and Transformers brands. That may be the only big flaw the younger crowd finds with the manga.
The drawing aesthetics come straight out of the 1960s and 70s. The retro quality tugged on my heartstrings and made me long for the simpler days of cell animation and non-digital comics. It has been visually updated a bit to meet readers high standards and it passed my test.
There is little to persuade the older reader to continue except that Stan Lee was involved with the creative team and the art is fun, but give this to someone in the proper demographic and they will think it kicks ass.