I stumbled upon Unsung Heroes a couples times before I actually sat down and watched them. The group had done a couple events at the bar in which I work. I missed the first one, although my co-worker had mentioned it when I was planning my ComicCon event in early September. I did not think anything of it until I met the writer for the series, Devin Peacock, who actually sent me a link to the series.
Although it took me almost a week, I sat down and watched every episode of the first season starting with the trailer. I was blown away.
~ Minor Spoilers Ahead ~
Growing up, I read a lot of comic books. I still do. Superman, Batman, and X-Men were all series I watched as a little kid. The idea of a YouTube video showing superheroes was also not a foreign concept. I had watched fan-made trailers for Nightwing and Superman. Both were more impressive than some of the actual full-length movies I seen. I honestly did not know what to expect.
What I found was a funny, tongue-in-cheek, short of superheroes being bad at the heroics. It reminded me a lot of the 1999 film Mystery Men. Each of the episodes tell a small story about the characters coming into an incident and trying to help. In each instance, the hero finds a way to screw it up. Each character has a power of their own and although their power comes in handy to help. They just can’t seem to get it right.
Diversity plays a big part in the series, which makes it that much cooler. The heroes themselves have different races, ages, and gender identities. The secondary characters are Latino and black. The only white person I remember throughout is a woman. It gives the series something different with diversity alone.
The costumes play up the superhero motifs. Phoenix Black has a modern looking black costume with red flairs throughout. Annie Gloom has a gothic motif that reminds me a lot of the magic users in superhero comics. Heather Royale reminds me a lot of teen heroes with a corset top and skirt. And Captain Armstrong and Revenant Lad both have costumes that harken to the more classic superheroes with spandex. The costumes bring us right into the world. They stand out against the backdrop of greenery in seeming suburbia.
The special effects to show the powers fit right into the overall theme with the low budget feel linking right with the idea of the heroes ‘not being good enough’. The greatest part is that the personalities of each character extrapolate the hashtag that follows the series #SuperheroesWithSwag. They might not be good at being superheroes, but they have strong personalities that come through to the audience.
The story lines all begin to coalesce in episode 7. The villains and the wronged come together, and soon will be taking on the heroes.
With great diversity, comedic writing, and great acting, Unsung Heroes creates a story well worth taking the time to watch. I know I personally can’t wait to see what happens next.
(Art by ChoudhuryKhancepts Photography)