- Series: The Hero
- Hardcover: 288 pages
- Publisher: Dark Horse Books (December 29, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1616557915
- ISBN-13: 978-1616557911
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.9 x 9.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,009,067 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Hero: Book Two Hardcover – December 29, 2015
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About the Author
David Rubin was was born in Orense, Spain on October 19, 1977. He is an animator and cartoonist. After studying graphic design, David Rubin worked in an animation studio. He then went on to co-direct the film The Spirit of the Forest (2008). At the same time, he founded the collective Polaqia in 2001 and collaborated with Golfiño, La Voz de Galicia and other magazines. The author lives in Orense, Spain.
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Top Customer Reviews
The Hero: Book Two is notably more brutal than Book One. Book One spends a good portion of the story with Heracles as a young man and a lover, coming across more adventurous than true. A simple look over the covers of these books tells you as much. Book One shows a Hero where Book Two is nearly identical except for the burning torture of the same man (and Eurystheus). Book One is also a coming of age story to a degree while Book Two finds a very old, cynical, and world weary Heracles bound by the will of Fate and suffering Hera's jealousy. He is mentally unstable. The world in which this man exists was a dangerous one and his trials are depicted in rich clear lines. The brutality that Heracles (and his lovers) face are also shown in detail.
Having said that the artwork is handled expertly by David Rubin. There is pain, anguish, and blood in these pages. You feel it through the expression on the characters faces as well as the burning representation of that pain. Heracles murders his wife and two young children, another wife of his is raped (nearly to death) by a centaur (although they changed the identity of the centaur from the source material), and he and his companions have the flesh literally ripped from their bodies. But the truth of these horrors is in a dream sequence he experiences halfway through the book.
Do yourself a favor and get both Book One and Two. If you can put on your big boy/girl pants and think critically about the illustrations and their meaning then this book it is well worth it. The violence is with purpose and serves the original telling AND the current retelling. Great job!
Then I read volume two. I am not a prude by any means. I am desensitised to most violence and gore, I don't love it, but when it serves a story and isn't just gratuitous and disgusting just for shock value and gross kicks (Hostel, Saw, Human Centipede) I tolerate it. I refuse to watch films like that for that reason. So to suddenly turn the pages in this comic and be completely disgusted I was not only disappointed, but shocked to my core. Nothing, literally nothing, has ever shocked me and disturbed me as much as about 3 or 4 pages of this comic did. I couldn't finish it. I closed the covers and asked my comic store if I could exchange it as I'd bought it that day. Funnily enough the guy who works there had the EXACT same experience and reaction to the comic, so I know I'm not overreacting.
Now these aren't necessarily spoilers in case, after reading this you still feel the need to buy the book and in case anyone out there is into disturbing and disgusting imagery but just to warn you against what I'm talking about (And somehow adhere to the Amazon review guidlines which were refused the first time i attempted posting this review) but also the characters involved cannot be eaisly identified without being named, which I haven't done.
So to begin:
A close, close, close, close up of a woman using a razor blade on a specific area of her anatomy. Disgusted yet? It gets worse.
About 4 or 5 pages of a centaur brutally assaulting a female character in "the worst way" if you get the meaning, with his exaggeratedly large "member", to the point of causing physical damage and tearing apart the body. Then repeating the same act to her face so to speak, bursting her teeth out of her mouth, leaving her an asbolute mess. Blood everywhere.
I feel gross just writing it.
Now I understand that the subject matter being depicted is as awful as it is (the latter is anyway, the first scene is just mutilation for the sake of being disgusting) and it is depicting the violence of the act. But if the artists defense is "I wanted to show how horrible this act is", not good enough. I have read and seen enough comics, books, movies etc to see how an act like this can be shown in a way that gets the message across that "yes, this is a horrible, terrible thing" without overdoing it. What is shown in this comic is not even a realstically brutal depiction of the act being portrayed. It is supernaturally disgusting in detail and looks more like it is done with violent glee than sorrow. I couldn't stop myself from picturing the artist getting to this scene and drawing it, and the only possible feeling I imagined him having while doing so was almost personal, violent hatred. The perfect example of this type of "act" being shown in a comic in the right way I can think of is in both Watchmen and in DC's Identity Crisis. By almost showing nothing yet showing enough you feel sick to your stomach at the act taking place. And it serves the story. Because the only reason to have this type of act shown in any type of entertainment is to serve the story. Hero Book Two took me completley out of the story to the point of me not caring how it ended because of how awful the visuals were. So if that was the goal.... Sorry. Goal not achieved.
Avoid this book if you don't want to be scarred for life.
I feel like I need to take a long, bleach filled shower.
And to be THAT guy, if I could give this zero stars I would.