Zak Penn has written some of the best loved comic based movies of the past decade, like ‘The Avengers,’ ‘X-Men 2’ and ‘Elektra’ and ‘X-Men: The Last Stand.’  Now he goes to the source artform with his new title ‘Hero Worship,’ bringing a fresh eye to the four-color world.  There are definitely some neat, original ideas within the book that you wouldn’t get from someone who’s spent the majority of their careers in the field.

The concept is that the world has been blessed with its own super hero, Zenith and as such, die-hard fans have begun following his every movement and chatting with and connecting to other fans via the internet and texting.  Adam Robeson is one such fan.  He blows off scoring with a stoned chick at a party when one of his Zenith-fan buddies texts him to get to Wilshire Blvd because Zenith will be there.  The girl mocks his “WWZD” necklace and calls him a loser but he doesn’t seem to care.

Adam and his buddies do get to see their hero in action, but things get a bit too close for comfort.  Later, Adam discovers that he has won a contest to visit the Zenith Foundation, a charitable headquarters for the hero.  While on the tour, however, he falls ill.  Once home, he collapses and is rushed to the hospital, but since he doesn’t have insurance is released without tests.  The next day, he discovers that he has developed powers like Zenith’s!

This is a fresh idea– showcasing the super hero superfans in a particular universe.  It all feels very modern, with the inclusion of social media to keep track of Zenith’s goings on and most of us fan geeks know what it’s like to be part of an active online fan community.  Penn and co-writer Scott Murphy use a clever metaphor to explain why Adam and his friends actually rush out to see their hero in action rather than watching from the safety of their computers on YouTube, by comparing it to watching football in person versus TV.  Adam encounters another loser fan on the way to the Zenith Foundation who seems decidedly less in-the-know and who superiorly mocks some other die-hard fans.  We all know that guy, don’t we?  The dork wad who doesn’t realize he’s a dork wad.

While at the Zenith Foundation, the fans are shown videos and the one detailing Zenith’s origin is cleary a fabricated cover story.  I liked that it was so blatantly fake.

The art is very nice!  The faces are fantastic and very unique and realistic.  Adam and company look like actual human beings, not stock comic book characters.  It’s really impressive.  Michael Dipascale pencilled it with very cool digital colors by Digikore Studios, giving it a water color feel.

I liked this book!  It’s different!

Verdict: Buy

Written by Zak Penn and Scott Murphy
Script by Scott Murphy
Art and Cover by Michael Dipascale