Not All Heroes Wear Capes
There have been so many comic book stories that the genre is literally drowning in choices. Between DC and Marvel’s juggernaut releases every year, Spanish comedies, horrors and even Goosebumps have taken this idea and spun this concept in a myriad of different ways.
Amazing Stories returns this week with an unashamedly cliched idea on the superhero concept, one that takes a relatively straight forward idea but adds some charm, heartwarming characterisation and some decent plotting to make for a really enjoyable episode.
Episode 3 of Amazing Stories begins with a young boy making himself a Batman outfit in his garage, while his Grandfather Joe arrives to stay with the family. In his room, Dylan shows Joe his drawings and tells him he wants to be the next Neal Adams, with big dreams to create the next superhero.
While Joe stays in his room for the time being, Dylan is forced onto the sofa after his brother Bryce kicks him out his room.
In the morning, a defiant Joe heads back to his work 4 days after his surgery but his boss tells him to leave. He gives Joe an ultimatum and implores him to take the retirement plan. Defiant, Joe tells his boss he can still work and becomes determined to prove him wrong.
After this less-than-pleasant encounter, Joe picks up Dylan from school and as they return home, he receives a package from Wham comics.
A strange ring arrives with a letter titled “Dynoman”. Joe writes this off as a joke but Dylan is persistent, prompting them to sift through his Father’s work to find the original comics for Dynoman. As they look through them together, Joe reveals more about the hero and Volt, Dynoman’s arch-enemy.
At dinner, Joe sits with the ring on his finger as he talks to him about the retirement package he’s been given. An incredulous Joe echoes to Mike that he doesn’t believe he’ll make it at “his age”. Growing old is difficult and as Joe argues his point, the ring glows red and he uses his strength to squash a football with one hand.
In the garage, Joe and Dylan discuss what happened, realizing these powers are triggered by stress and anger. Joe heads back to work and shows up everyone around him with an impressive amount of strength, while Dylan finds himself alone and isolated at school.
Back home, Joe gives Dylan encouraging words before agreeing to go trick or treating with him. Before he does however, Joe agrees to help out at work and get an order ready for tomorrow. As he works hard to make this a reality, back home Dylan finds himself disappointed as he sits waiting for Joe in his costume.
Mike shows up at Joe’s work and berates him for letting down Dylan – going on to tell him he’s screwing up his relationship with his Grandson, just like he did with him.
A disappointed Dylan decides to create the Volt outfit. As he fixes the helmet together, Joe returns to the garage and realizes what Dylan has done. He throws the ring down on the floor and chases after his grandson. On the roof of the building, with Dylan attempting to move the SUV to the roof, he loses control and finds himself stuck on the front seat.
Joe hurries over and grabs Dylan. Only, they both take a tumble until Mike suddenly arrives, wearing the ring, and saves them both by flying through the air and possessing the ring’s abilities. Joe embraces his son in the aftermath of this and as car alarms wail, he grabs Dylan and Joe, proceeding to fly them away as the kids come out from the dance and see the car on the roof.
In the aftermath of this, Joe pitches the idea of creating a new hero together to Dylan as they bury the ring and head back inside together. Symbolic of their newfound relationship, a seed sprouts from the area they buried the ring
While the episode itself doesn’t have much in the way of originality, and there’s not a lot that’s distinctly unique to this genre, the heart and strong character arcs are enough to make this a really enjoyable watch. The tighter 45 minute run-time certainly suits the show better than the hour-long episode last time out and there’s a really nice little twist at the end too.
Amazing Stories may not be amazing per-se, but there’s enough in this episode to make up for the shortfalls last week. Watching both Dylan and Joe transform across the episode makes for a really satisfying watch and the poetic irony of both Joe and Dylan reverting roles – becoming the hero and villain respectfully – is a nice touch that certainly adds to the story.
Quite what next week has in store for us remains to be seen but for now, Amazing Stories bows out with a much-improved episode here.
Expect A Full Season Write Up When This Season Concludes!