Comics Features

REVIEW: The F1rst Hero: Fight For Your Life Volume 2

Written by Dara Berkey

I read Anthony Ruttgaizer‘s The F1rst Hero: Fight For Your Life Volume 2. The First Hero’s main character Jacob Roth is a former Marine, who on his last mission discovered that he was an “extrahuman.” Extrahumans become insane when their powers manifest and as a result, they are hunted by a special military force and killed. Jacob was an exception. He kept his sanity. When Jacob Roth returned from his last tour in Afghanistan, with the knowledge of his powers, he befriended a young teenage boy who was also an extrahuman. Unfortunately, the U.S. Extrahuman Task Force is quite able and the teenager is killed. Jacob does not know what to do with his powers. In Volume 2, Jacob got involved with an old, troublesome friend who dragged Jacob into all kinds of trouble with organized crime and an illegal fight club.

The cover of Volume 2 completely threw me off, as I had not read Volume 1. I thought it was something completely different until I read the introduction given by the writer. The whole premise of the series is about the conflict over the place of extrahumans. They are treated as less than human when their powers manifest because of the insanity that followed. Extrahumans are “the others.” The leader of the U.S. Extrahuman Task Force zealously pursued all the extrahumans that appear on the pages and including Jacob Roth, who is the city of Philadelphia’s mysterious extrahuman.

The F1rst Hero worked because they had a great main character. Jacob Roth is relatable, because he is extremely conflicted about his powers which made him different. He knew that his powers made him a target. Jacob’s military experience made him a fighter. He grew up as a rich kid in Philadelphia, but he chose a rougher life. Volume 2 was all about him thinking about what to do with his new-found abilities.

The plot was woven well to reach the ultimate point of Jacob realizing that he was not ready to be a “hero” and going on a journey to figure how to do so. I think the plot was well done. Ruttgaizer did not make Jacob an unstoppable force and made him make mistakes. Jacob got his ass handed to him by Odinson. The final conflict between the organized crime members, the U.S. Extrahuman Task Force, Jacob and Jacob’s friend (who was central to the conflict) Cooper Bradshaw led to deaths and a close call.

Another high point of The F1rst Hero were the antagonists. There were several in opposite of Jacob Roth. Odinson was a three-armed extrahuman that was the champion of the illegal fight club. The U.S. Extrahuman Task Force was always in the foreground, as a danger to Jacob Roth and anyone that got in their way. There were also organized crime lackeys that were problematic.

While I did not have any problems with the F1rst Hero as a whole, there was too much about the secondary characters — Cooper’s two friends who were killed, for instance. I do not think they were necessary. Secondly, the scene in Jake’s father’s office building with the lawyer was also unnecessary and did not add anything to the plot. Since the next part of Jake Roth’s story will be in Actionverse: Featuring the First Hero, it doesn’t seem like there will be room for romance when Jake was trying to become a “better hero”. There were just some excess characters and sub-plots that did not go anywhere.

Overall, I enjoy The F1rst Hero: Fight For Your Life Volume 2. I thought that the main character was awesome, the plot was good and the art was decent. Honestly, I going to read Volume 1 and any sequels to see where Jacob Roth, the F1rst Hero, winds up on his journey.

Have you read either Volume 1 or Volume 2 of this stirring comic? Let us know in the comments section or send us a Tweet!

About the author

Dara Berkey

Superhero nerd. History nerd. Favorite personal hero--Shazam/The Original Captain Marvel. Favorite female hero--Any of the Batgirls. Favorite male hero, other than Shazam--Any of the Robins.