Punishing With Panache: Reviewing ‘Heavy’ #1

by Brendan M. Allen


Heavy is The Punisher for neurotics; Inception for the impatient; Preacher for… well, it’s a lot like Preacher. 


Bill may be dead, but he’s got a job to do. Welcome to the Big Wait, where folks who don’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.
In Heavy #1, expiatory purification takes the form of supernatural employment. Folks who didn’t quite make the cut to make it into the good place, but weren’t quite rotten enough to make it to the other place, they get a chance to put their thumb on the scales. Bill was a heavy in life, so naturally his skill set dictates that he does the same in the afterlife. The big picture is that his meddling in Earthly affairs is supposed to correct irregularities in the multiverse.
He’s a burly timelord without a TARDIS, who pops middle schoolers in the face.
Max Bemis pulls in a lot of tough guy tropes and cobbles them together into a reasonably fresh story. It does follow a pretty predictable cadence, though. If you pay attention to the beginning, the turn at the end is not nearly as shocking as it’s intended. There are some genuinely funny moments. Incredibly dark, yes, but also very funny. 
The artwork by Eryk Donovan and Cris Peter is very nineties. I don’t know if that’s intentional. The action scenes are wildly chaotic, also probably by design. The colors are a little over the top for the tone of the book. Bright pinks and purples. Seems like it would have worked a little better if those wild colors stayed in The Big Wait, while the real world scenarios could have used a more muted palette. 
Overall, it’s an entertaining book, though it doesn’t seem to have hit its stride quite yet.
Heavy #1, Vault Comics, 16 September 2020. Written by Max Bemis, art by Eryk Donovan, color by Cris Peter, letters by Taylor Esposito.

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