REVIEW: Cage Hero #1

Story: Kevin Eastman & Ian Parker
Art: Renalto Rei
Colors: Ross Campbell
Publisher: Dynamite
Release Date: 11/4/2015

Among today’s new releases from Dynamite, you will find Cage Hero #1. From writers Kevin Eastman & Ian Parker, with art from Renalto Rei, Cage Hero #1 introduces us to a young wrestling standout struggling to balance a new school, his strict grandfather, and memories of his absent parents.

The issue introduces us to the story’s main character, Ryder, and takes us through a day that will change his life forever. The writing team provides a little background on what motivates
the character through some internal dialogue in the early pages. We are also introduced to Ryder’s grandfather early on, who is very strict and raising Ryder in the absence of his
parents. Eastman and Parker spend the issue showing a day in the life of a teenage kid and all the usual drama that comes with it (bullying, parent issues, lack of focus in class, etc..) before a mysterious stranger introduces himself to Ryder’s life, and his grandfather becomes ill. The issue closes abruptly, with the mysterious stranger letting Ryder know he is apart of something bigger, and a threat makes itself known to Ryder and his new acquaintance.

Cage Hero #1 is advertised as a story about a boy who is “recruited to lead a super-powered team of mixed martial artists known as the Cage Heroes”. The idea itself doesn’t sound very interesting from the preview, and today’s first issue doesn’t do much to contradict that opinion. By the end of issue #1, we have been introduced to a kid that is good at wrestling, struggles with his family situation and who is more than meets the eye. But none of it is interesting, and it comes across as a cheap attempt to intertwine MMA and comics. Due to the popularity of the two, I can understand an attempt to do so but this book felt like not much effort was put into the concept. On a bright note, Renalto Rei’s art in the issue is pretty good, and greatly outweighs the story. I hope to see more from him in the future.

Final Verdict: This book feels flawed from the concept, and I think the story will suffer from it. Cage Hero #1 is not a strong start for a series that’s only lasting 4 issues. If you are going to check this out, pick up the trade when the series has finished. There’s no need to pick this one up in issues.

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