Story: Max Bemis
Art: Eryk Donovan
Colors: Cris Peter
Letterer: Taylor Esposito
What They Say:
Bill may be dead, but he’s got a job to do.
Welcome to the Big Wait, where folks who do’t quite make the cut go to work off their debt. Everyone in the Wait’s got a job. Bill is a Heavy, whose job is policing the multiverse, making sure bad eggs get what’s coming to them. He’s on track to earn his Climb and reunite with the woman he loves… until he meets his new partner: the worst dude of all time.
Heavy is The Punisher for neurotics; Inception for the impatient; Preacher for… well, it’s a lot like Preacher. Max Bemis and Eryk Donovan bring you a story about the existential purpose of dumb boys with big guns.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
While I haven’t read a lot of Max Bemis’ work overall the things I have read really did delight me a whole lot with its creativity. With this new property from Vault Comics, he’s paired with Eryk Donovan for the artwork and the team here has a familiar structure that houses what could be an absolutely delightful and bonkers ride that has me excited for its hopefully long future. Donovan’s artwork definitely plays up to the concept here of a “boys” series, which is just referential in the dialogue for how the main character sees himself, but it’s opened up for a lot more. I love the variety of the designs and the potential for the imagination to do just about anything in looking at alternate histories means a chance to really go all out and embrace it. With what Donovan does here and how well Cris Peter’s handles the varying color design as needed with flashbacks, alternate timelines, and the base reality, it’s a fantastic looking book from top to bottom.
The premise for this introduces us to Bill, a man who did some violence in the world while he was alive but has now been one of a select number of people upon his death to end up in the Big Wait. Bill was murdered in order to get to his significant other by a mobster named Slim who was actually her first boyfriend. Bill has to survive his time in the Big Wait by doing the work that he’s best suited for there, which is that of a Heavy. Essentially, he’s sent to different periods in time across different parallel worlds where when things get out of hand it has to be corrected. And that has an impact on nearby timelines so they don’t fall prey to the same thing. The problem is that if you die while outside of the Big Wait then you basically blink out of existence in your original timeline, which means no chance of reuniting with someone important. Bill’s doing all of this, thousands of missions and kills, in order to get back to his girl in the afterlife.
The opening issue lays down a lot of information as we get the backstory of his death, time dealing with his boss who manages the two dozen or so other Heavy’s, and a look at other people who are in the Big Wait that help by dealing with suicides, financials, and other avenues through their specialty. But we also get to see one of Bill’s missions where a version of Da Vinci created some impressive weapons, took over Europe, built giant dick-shaped towers in his courtyard, and is a crazy old hypersexual coot with an army at his fingertips. Of course, he never invented bullets so we see how Bill can take him out easily enough but with all of these different things and a number of sharp barbs that touch upon our own world from time to time, Heavy puts into motion an incredibly well-done bursting at the seems book – especially with its final page stinger to get you back for more.
There is a whole lot to like here with Heavy and I’m really excited to see what direction it’ll go in. While I suspect the end-page stinger is going to be the primary focus for a bit, it’s the missions themselves that I’m interested in and how Bill is handling them and what the other teams find themselves dealing with. There is a lot of potential with this story to go in any number of creative ways and easy spinoff and one-shot books as well if Bemis can flesh out and make some interesting supporting characters. It’s a great concept and the opening installment is a dense book setting a lot of the foundation of what’s to come, making it a very easy recommendation.
Age Rating: 15+
Released By: Vault Comics | Amazon
Release Date: September 16th, 2020