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May 2, 2010

I doubt I’m the first person to talk about this, but I’m really digging the symbiotic relationship between Joey and Heroman. Neither one is “complete” without the other. Without Heroman, Joey is just an ordinary geeky kid who can’t make a difference in the world, and without Joey, Heroman is just a hunk of plastic and metal.

But their relationship goes further than that. Once Heroman is activated, he depends on Joey to act. Heroman knows full well what he wants to do. He gives cues by means of Joey’s controller mechanism thing, but he can’t actually do anything until Joey goes through the motions and gives the command. At the same time, Joey is the key to their defense. Joey is the focal point of the force fields they’re able to generate. In order to fully defend in the midst of battle, Joey must rush up to the front line and activate the shield. Even though Heroman does the bulk of the fighting, it’s only with Joey’s willingness to put himself on the line that they can reach their fullest potential.

It’s because of this that I’d argue that Joey is the real source of Heroman’s power. Heroman is essentially an extension of Joey’s determination. He’s the manifestation of Joey’s desire to “do right,” and it just happens to take the form of an ass-kicking robot. The fact that Joey gets tired the more Heroman has to strain himself shows that there’s some sort of connection between the two beyond a mere master and servant relationship. Heroman isn’t a tool or a weapon, he’s a part of Joey. They feed off of each other to the point that they’re essentially one and the same.

I really dig that. It isn’t really a matter of chance that Joey has become the hero. This isn’t a case like so many other giant robot series, where the main hero gets a robot through luck or the orders or a superior officer. In most mecha series, there’s a certain degree of practicality to the relationship between robot and pilot. Shinji is forced to pilot his Eva and the Eva is little more than a means to an end. The same goes for Gundam and many other series. The robot is no different from a gun or a sword. It’s merely an object that gives the hero a means to do his heroing. Joey and Heroman are different. Their relationship is more like that between a super hero and his powers. Those powers are a part of him. They define his character. Spiderman is Spiderman because of his powers, while Shinji would be Shinji regardless of whether he was piloting a mecha or starring in a harem anime. I like that connection between the hero and the means by which he becomes a hero, and it helps to define the series as more of a super hero story than a mecha story.

And with the latest episode, Will has officially gone Eddie Brock on us. Whether his betrayal of humanity to gain the symbiotic powers of the Skrugg was willful or not, he’s essentially donned the black alien spider suit and has turned into Venom. His irrational anger towards Joey is being used as a tactical weapon against Heroman and his guerrilla war against the Skrugg invaders. Not only does Willnom (See what I did there? Will + Venom.) know his way around town and knows what Joey and crew are up to, he has his seething hatred to further fuel his Skrugg-empowered abilities. The Skrugg need him to take down Heroman, and Will needs the Skrugg to enable his hatred.

It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out. Will Lina snap Will out of his insanity? Will he come to his senses and sacrifice himself to save his sister and friends? Or will he remain a villain and die for his demented cause or continue forth as a thorn in Heroman’s side? Either way, I’m really liking what they’re doing with Will. He’s probably the most interesting character in the series thus far.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. May 2, 2010 6:23 PM

    Sacrifice is pretty common in the marvel verse, so just have to see.

    I also like the relationship between Joey and Heroman, especially as Joey finally manned up in this episode.

  2. May 3, 2010 11:16 AM

    I do like that Heroman and Joey are like a team instead of a kid and his tool. (You’re a Giant Robo fan, so you’ve probably already noted the similarities between Heroman/Joey and Giant Robo/Daisaku.) Teamwork is something I like seeing depicted in anything because it adds such a layer of strategy to each battle. There’s all sorts of things you can do with Joey’s defensive ability working in tandem with Heroman’s powerful offense.

    Plus, joining in to help the fight makes Joey cooler. Gotta respect a kid who will put his life on the line rather than simply letting his kickass robot do all the work.

  3. May 6, 2010 12:48 PM

    I thought from the start that Will could’ve been a more sympathetic and interesting character if they’d made his hatred just a bit less blindingly irrational. It would’ve made his joining the Skrugg side a bit more impactful.

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