Meet Troy Johnson.
He’s a fifteen year-old navigating being a freshman at Shining Hope High School with a bratty little sister and enemies who are jocks. Troy also occasionally dreams he is a hero, which is funny because he is called to be one when an alien artifact that he found on the ground tells him he is supposed to save humankind.
He is chosen to be the high school mascot (a Trojan soldier, of course!) and vows to make the school proud. There are also three transfer students in Troy’s class who are anything but what they appear to be.
Devon Camel, who both wrote and drew the comic book, does a fine job of pacing the story. He also seems to know exactly when to insert panels that carry the story forward but don’t ruin the surprises. The artwork is excellent and clean with gray tones. Camel also does a good job with the lettering.
He also conveys the angst that comes with being a teenager, something some if not all of his readers can relate to. It is that relatable aspect of the book that really grabs you – we are cheering for Troy not just because he’s a typical kid but because Camel has made us care for him. For example, we learn tidbits about his home-life, the fact that he and his sister are being raised by a single man. The parallel to other comic books like the Amazing Spider-Man is obvious: Troy is a teenager who finds himself changed by a chance occurrence. He must embrace his powers while still being a “normal” teen.
Camel answers the question, “What would you do if you were chosen to save the planet?” by showing how Troy resists the responsibility of being a superhero and becomes an antihero. Also, the comic book doesn’t contain sex and gratuitous violence and is probably appropriate for most ages.
The end of “Homecoming Hero” part 2 leaves the reader at the edge of their seat. The questions yet to be answered, are: Where did the strange alien artifact come from? Why has Troy been chosen to save the Earth? What is the real mission of the three transfer students? Who are the aliens preparing to take over the world?
One can barely wait until the next issue is published!
Review by Sean Murphy