Hero Alliance: End of the Golden Age – vol. 1, issue 1 – July 1989 (Innovation Publishing)

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TITLE: Hero Alliance: End of the Golden Age – vol. 1, issue 1

YEAR: July 1989

COMPANY: Innovation Publishing

Written by Kevin Juaire, David Campiti

Illustrators: Bart Sears, Ron Lim

Embellishers: Rick Bryant, Mike Witherby

Calligrapher: Bill Oakley

Painter: Howard Feltman

Editor: David Campiti

Back in the ’80s, one would see David Campiti as one of the hardworking individuals wanting to break into the comic book industry.

Selling comic book scripts to Pacific Comics in 1982 and seeing his work published a year after, Campiti would go on to write Superman stories for “Action Comics” and by 1988, wrote a business proposal and raised $400,000 to finance the launching of his company, Innovative Corp.  And not long after, Innovation would be the #4 comic book company after Marvel Comics, DC Comics and Dark Horse thanks to the numerous TV-tie ins and popular independent comic series which attracted readers.

While Campiti resigned from the company in 1993 and he went on to launch Glass House Graphics, an international studio/agency of illustrators, writers, painters and digital designers,

Unfortunately, Innovation would close the following year and would join other companies that would fold due to the changing comic book industry of the ’90s.  But for those who do remember Innovation, they were a company that was known for quality stories and doing something different from the major comic book companies.

One such series that I absolute loved from Innovation Publishing was “Hero Alliance” which was created by Kevin Juaire and featured Juaire and Campiti as authors.

Which started out as a graphic novel for Pied Piper and then a single issue for Wonder Comics, “Hero Alliance: End of the Golden Age” is the first appearance on the Innovation Publishing lineup and a comic book that has been revised, expanded, re-sized, re-edited and re-colored for the deluxe format mini-series appearance since the Pied Piper graphic novel.

“Hero Alliance: End of the Golden Age” begins with the introduction to Victor, a powerful superhero who lives a life full of guilt.

Having lost a sibling and then his father in a helicopter crash at a young age, Victor wished he could fly, so he could have saved his father.

Two decades later, Victor would fight side-by-side of the great superhero of the time, Golden Guardman and they formed a team of superheroes known as The Guardmen.  And they would win against the villains such as Sepulchre and others many times.

But as time has passed, heroes lasted for six years.  Either slain, retired or burned out by the powers that made them, the roster had changed and nothing would be the same when the Golden Guardman disappeared, leaving Victor to head the group.  For Vitor, the day the Golden Guardman called it quits, that was the end of the Golden Era.

And with the new members, the Guardmen became media stars and not wanting to be a merchandising ploy, Victor left the Guardmen.

But when the villain Sepulchre struck back and Victor was no longer with the group, he blew up the Guardmen headquarters and the Guardmen were killed.

Victor has since carried even more guilt, for not being their for his team and not giving them communication badges to reach him if they were in any trouble.

Meanwhile, Richard Dunlop, the real Golden Guardman is in his hospital bed dying.  Having lived a long life and leaving his life as the superhero nearly 20-years ago, unfortunately being the world’s most well-known and respected superhero comes with its own problems as Richard never had a relationship with his family especially with his children Kris and Marc.  While both are near him for his final moments, Marc wants to let the hospital know that the man who is dying is the Golden Guardman, in hopes the hospital would not charge them any hospital fees.  But Kris disagrees that their father was private man and would not want his secret to be public.

As Marc leaves, he goes to his Uncle Ross’ home, a man who was responsible for licensing of merchandise for Golden Guardman and became wealthy because of it.  As Marc wants his share of the profits, he breaks into the safe and finds the Golden Guardman helmet his father used to wear.

But as Richard Dunlop had power, his children does as well and by wearing the helmet, Marc uses his power for evil and kills his uncle and beats up his sister.

Feeling alone and not knowing who to turn to, Kris goes to Victor in hopes that he cold put a stop to Marc.

The issue also introduces us to Tawny Winters, a former member of the Guardmen and also other possible heroes and villains.

Overall, I felt that “Hero Alliance: End of the Golden Age – vol. 1, issue 1” was fantastic as it gave us a new perspective of the superteam.  Where aging happens to superheroes, where superheroes are slain, they retire or get burned out by their own power, you don’t see that with the major comic book series from Marvel or DC where they wouldn’t dare age their major flagship characters and have them retire.  If they do show any aging, writers can always say they came from an alternate Earth.

But with “Hero Alliance”, the natural process of aging happens and the heroes are not all perfect.  They carry major baggage that stem from their childhood.  The major hero of “Hero Alliance” is Victor who has carried on guilt for his father’s death but mostly for the death of his teammates that he abandoned.

The antagonist for this issue is the son of the great Golden Guardsman but since the superhero was always at work, he neglected his own family, especially with his children and his son Marc carries deep anger towards his father.

And it also extends to other characters as they all have their own skeletons, their own feelings of guilt and no one is perfect.  They try to look happy but deep inside, they are hurting.

And that’s something you don’t often read in superhero stories continually but with “Hero Alliance”, nothing comes easy for this superhero team.  May it be finances (like how Bruce Wayne kept JLA or Tony Stark kept Avengers at float with expensive headquarters and technology), may it be personal relationships and more.

The story is well-written and Kevin Juaire and David Campiti did a great job.  You also get to see earlier Bart Sears artwork (before becoming popular for his work on “Justice League Europe” for DC Comics and “X-O Manowar” and “Turok” for Valiant) along with the art from the talented Ron Lim (popular for his work on “Ex-Mutants” and just when he was starting on “The Silver Surfer” series for Marvel and then the “Infinity” trilogy, which he is best known for).

If you have a chance and want to read a different type of superhero comic book series, definitely give “Hero Alliance” a chance!

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