Review: Heroes, Inc. Presents #1

Heroes, Inc. Presents #1 cover
Cover by Wally Wood

Heroes, Inc. Presents #1
Published and © by Wallace Wood, 1969

Title: “Cannon”
Synopsis: When Communist forces capture a woman from a U.S. science lab, the government calls in Cannon to eliminate her.

Writer: Wally Wood
Penciler: Steve Ditko
Inker: Wood

Review: This early indie from Wally Wood can be seen as a harbinger of the Bronze Age to come: Increased creator control, exploration of new distribution channels, a more-adult target audience. As for this lead feature, the story is of its time, but the art is a gift from two masters.


Title: “The Misfits”
Synopsis: A telepath, an alien and a mutant join forces to fend off a planetary invasion.

Writer: Wally Wood
Artists: Wood and Ralph Reese

Review: Is this a story about turning back white colonialism? Maybe, but not likely. But, again, the art is a treat.


Title: “Dragonella”
Synopsis: A child abandoned in the woods is adopted and raised by dragons; as an adult, she seeks her prince. 

Writers: Ron Whyte and Wally Wood 
Penciler: Wood
Inker: Wood

Review: This sort of sexy silliness was a staple for Wally Wood, but this strip isn’t one of the best examples.

Grade (for the entire issue): B

Second opinion: “Wood’s art is terrific throughout, but the stories rather let things down.” – The Slings & Arrows Comic Guide (second edition), 2003

Cool factor: A publishing effort led by one of the acknowledged masters of the form …
Not-so-cool factor: … that barely saw the light of day due to distribution woes.

Notable: Under the guidance of comics legend Wally Wood, this book was aimed at an adult audience and meant for distribution via the U.S. Military PXs. … In a clear sign of this book’s different target audience, it includes ads for real estate, jewelry and U.S. savings bonds. … Includes a one-page note to readers, illustrated by Wally Wood, titled “This Is Your Book!”
Collector’s note: This book was once considered relatively hard to find, but warehouse copies have since turned up. For example, in 2005, a 70,000-copy lot was sold by Heritage Auctions.

Character quotable: “A man just emerged from the ship – Hey! It’s a white man …” –An unnamed journalist, right before things go to hell

Editor’s note: This review was written June 2, 2021.

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