The Hero died 20 years ago but her death still haunts a young reporter. “A Hero’s Death” is a story about our collective need for hope, optimism – and heroes.
The graphic novel is based on Ricardo’s critically acclaimed short story, “Life and Death of a Hero” from the super hero anthology book, “Gods of Justice” from Cliffhanger Books. The story, about the death of a super hero twenty years ago, won rave reviews for portraying a human side to men and women in capes and our collective need for hope, optimism – and heroes.
“I can still remember as a kid reading Superman and Spiderman and Wonder Woman and just feeling good when the hero won the day,” Ricardo said of the story. “Too many stories now are jaded or dark, I wanted to recreate that feeling I had reading those classic stories, but I wanted to do it in a way that also showed the costs to the heroes for being there for us.”
Ricardo Sanchez contributes my favorite tale in the book, “The Death and Life of a Hero.” I’m a sucker for such an uplifting story in which the hero receives his due from the people he has saved. I loved that same theme in Buffy, the Vampire Slayer as well as in Early Edition, and I love it here, too.
— Ray Tate from ComicsBulletin
Mark and Ricardo talked at NYCC 2012 about collaborating on a project and Ricardo brought him the comic book adaptation of the story. “I’ve been looking at Mark’s work since his days on Jonah Hex, and his Ghost Rider helped bring me back to comics after a brief absence. He’s a really remarkable artist. Although he’s best known for his action books, I thought the quality of his paintings would be a great way to bring to the page the empathy and emotion that makes the story work,” Ricardo said. “Besides, he’s on a short list of artists I’d love to work with!”
“I read the story and I thought, WOW! This is something I could really show my stuff on. I’ve been doing a lot more painted work lately, and with this script I have a lot of freedom to create new characters and a new hero,” Mark said.
The final story in this collection, written by DC’s Ricardo Sanchez (famous for his Resident Evil comics) is hands down the most rewarding and thought-provoking. Really more of a social introspection piece, Ricardo tells us of a deceased hero known as The Hero and the reporter that is trying to retell the story twenty years later. I really don’t want to ruin too much for you so all I’ll say is this story needs to be published elsewhere and consumed en mass as it is a powerful look into and reminder of who we all are and who we all can be.
— Jared Walter of ComicBooked
In fact, the protagonist in the original short story is a man, but Mark wanted to tell the story with the Hero as a woman. “So many heroes are men! I read the script and just kept thinking that changing the character to a female would add a new layer to the story. It would also make the story fresh for people who’ve read the short.”
The fully painted book was financed through a KickStarter campaign. “KickStarter is amazing! It’s such a great way for comic artists and writers to create projects that might not be a great fit with the big publishers,” Mark said.
Backers had their choice of receiving the book as either a DRM free digital file, or as a printed book. “Personally, I love digital, but I still also love the feel of a comic book in my hands,” Ricardo explained. “With fan-funded projects like this one, we want to make sure that the people who make ‘A Hero’s Death’ possible can read the story whatever way they want to.”
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