How have you been handling the pandemic? I hope you’ve all been staying safe and healthy, which means keeping a safe distance from other people and sheltering in place. It can be lonely, tiring, and frustrating – believe me, I know. But you can’t read comics if you die from Covid. That’s why Marvel has given us “Heroes At Home,” a one-shot by Zeb Wells, with illustrations by Gurihiru, that show us how heroes across the Marvel universe are coping. Is it enough to help lighten our days indoors? Let’s find out.
Written by Zeb Wells
Illustrated by Gurihiru
Colored by Gurihiru
Lettered by VC’s Joe Sabino & Jay Bowen
Being stuck inside isn’t easy for anyone, even super heroes! See how your favorite Marvel characters have coped being cooped up with HEROES AT HOME! See how Spider-Man, Hulk, Captain Marvel, Wolverine, Black Panther and Captain America do in Quarantine! Let Marvel make you smile, courtesy of artists Gurihiru and writer Zeb Wells’ Sunday Funnies!
Now, “Heroes At Home” is not what one would call a particularly deep or emotional comic, nor should it be. Why would we want to see our heroes angsting about what the future holds and how they’re locked up? No, the goal is to provide some levity by putting these larger than life characters in relatable situations. Cap hasn’t done his dishes? Spider-Man passing the time by learning to make bread? It’s something we can all connect to in some way or another.
Each story blends in humor with the situation nicely. From Peter Parker mixing up his web fluid with yeast to Thor’s attempt at cutting his hair, they’re all short and cute comedic tales of superheroes dealing with their own shelter-in-place struggles in an amusing way.
This comic is also aimed at a younger audience, although it’s no stretch to say it’s one readers of all ages can enjoy. It doesn’t speak down to the reader or present everything in a childish manner, so it’s accessible for all audiences.
In fact, being able to read is only a requirement for about half the comics. Several of the stories are presented without dialogue or narration, letting the art carry the story. That still works just fine – we don’t need a dialogue box telling us “Peter Parker, better known as the spectacular Spider-Man, heroically folds his laundry while bravely staying indoors!” We can just see Peter (admittedly still in his Spider-Man outfit) folding his laundry and it’s easy enough to put the pieces together. In this way, the short stories flow nicely while letting the imagery carry the narrative.
That’s not to say there’s no text at all. Sometimes just pointing to a “Masks required” sign is all it needs. Other short stories get just a few short lines. The only section to have any real dialogue to it is Captain Marvel’s portion, and it’s an amusing one that combines space warfare with videoconferencing. This one would be a little harder to carry without dialogue, but the banter we get is very amusing. I’m particularly fond of “I declare my intention to fight you both to the death… just as soon as that’s a safe and responsible thing to do.”
Although “Heroes At Home” is approximately 80 pages, it is still a very quick read. Each page is a single panel, so it’s more accurate to say it’s an 80-panel comic. This means that there’s no interesting panel tricks or varying layouts to discuss, but that simplicity also helps each panel stand on its own.
Gurihiru’s artwork is a big part of what makes “Heroes At Home” enjoyable. The style leans towards the cartoonish, with a clear anime-like designs and coloration while still maintaining the character designs and proportions they have in other comics. The fact that characters do have more anime-style faces helps enhance their expressiveness, which is very important for a comic relying on the art to tell its story. This is particularly clear with the Dora Milaje, who show a very amusing look of frustration even with masks covering their mouths.
Each scene is drawn with very clear line work, clean and without extraneous detail distracting from the main focus. The color work is bright and clean, relying on solid colors to keep everything clean and clear. The lighting is equally bright, not relying on shadows or other effects to keep the imagery clear.Continued below
In general, Gurihiru is the perfect choice for these short, humorous comics, keeping each page light and entertaining.
At $9.99, “Heroes At Home” is a bit pricier than most other comics out this week, and while it’s acceptable for the page count, there still might not be enough content for that kind of money overall. Still, if you have the money to spend and want to get some good laughs seeing how superheroes spend their time during quarantine, “Heroes At Home” is a good way to go.
Final Verdict: 7.7 – A quick read for its page length, but still very amusing, with exceptional artwork that tells each story clearly.