A short story about the hero Hyperion has the character questioning his purpose, and finding the beginnings of answers. Avengers #34.1 offers:
- Artwork that ranges from microscopic worlds, to a view of the Earth from orbit
- A super hero – Hyperion – who questions his purpose, and shows several values within the scope of the short story.
- Values such as responsibility, resilience, truth, and care for small actions appear.
Views of drifting white clouds and continents appear as the powerful hero Hyperion stares down at the Earth. His magnification vision plays a key role in the comic book artwork.
The comic artwork ranges from close settings inside a pickup truck interior, and a family living room, all the way to the outer atmosphere of the earth. Views of drifting white clouds and continents in green and sandy yellow appear as the powerful hero Hyperion looks down.
Magnification appears as another artistic point. Hyperion uses his telescopic vision to greatly magnify flecks of dust and skin cells to analyse DNA.
In contrast, a ruthless villain called the Mauler unleashes a series of energy attacks – a sonic cannon and a ground-to-air missile. Energy beams of white and orange fire flood the panels where Mauler attempts to slow down Hyperion. The immense and unstoppable powerhouse is undeterred by Mauler’s attacks. It’s fitting the all artwork for Hyperion in this issue show him standing upright, with strong poster, and a set, determined facial expression – resilient.
Hyperion might appear to be a copy of a Super hero template planted in Popular Culture decades ago, but the character tells a story with large and strong themes like responsibility, guardianship, and the ordinary vs. the extraordinary.
If Superman can be placed at the centre of a large map, with all other different super heroes branching out from his first appearance, Hyperion would be found close to the centre, nearby the Man of Steel.
Readers might classify Hyperion as a Superman copy: another invulnerable, flying costumed man with a bright colour scheme. The comic does not address the questions of Hyperion’s inspirations – although it does distinctly ask: what is his purpose? Is he just a power fantasy or a revenge fantasy without any use?
The fact remains, that Hyperion is a character with a broad set of abilities – with such power and invulnerability, his character can explore large themes like parenthood, guardianship, responsibility, and the ordinary vs. extraordinary.
There is a great discussion about the value of a super hero in the face of environmental problems and climate change. Hyperion asks himself if he really can make a difference saving small lives in the face of such a complex ecosystem as an entire planet.
The bigger question the comic asks of super heroes like Hyperion – Are you actually a teacher? And what lessons do you have?
Hyperion is still trying to find an answer to why he is here on Earth – Through his actions, resilience, truth, and an ability to see value in small actions are valued.
It’s not entirely clear if what lessons Hyperion has to teach; it’s more clear that Hyperion might still be trying to answer those questions himself.
What he can provide is assistance and help. And there is a great discussion of how valuable truth and accuracy are. Resilience in the face of problems that everyday life throws out is also clear from the story – Hyperion does not back down in the face of an all out assault from Mauler – he could attack Mauler instead, but chooses not too. Hyperion solves problems not with force, but by getting to the truth that lies at the core of problems, and things that go wrong.
The story also comes with a reminder to see the value in small actions, which might seem insignificant if approached with the wrong perspective.
Avengers #34.1 is published by Marvel comics ($4.99 USD). Al Ewing (W.) Dale Keown (P.) Norman Lee (I.) Jason Keith (C.) VC’s Cory Petit (L.) Cover artwork by Keown and Keith.