African Animation

Aliens, Alternate Universes, Lagos & Superheroes: Hello Hero Corps 

Hero Corps, the flagship animated series from SPOOF Animation, the animation imprint of SPOOF! Comics was recently released at Lagos Comic-Con.

The just-concluded Fearless Lagos Comic Convention offered great thrills and sights across comics, gaming, animation, sci-fi, cosplay and exclusive releases. One of the hotly anticipated exclusive releases at Lagos Comic-Con was Hero Corps, an animated series from SPOOF! Animation. The film was met with great applause by those in attendance.

About a week after Lagos Comic-Con, Hero Corps is now available to watch online. 

Hero Corps is SPOOF Animation’s flagship animated short featuring the champions of the SPOOF Comics universe. These heroes are Strikeguard (who has an animated short to its credit), Boxsa, Vantage and Jinx

The first episode of Hero Corps is about a hero who is displaced into an alternate dimension where he battles that dimensions’ heroes in an attempt to prove they’re on the same side and warn them of a deadly threat from space that’s right on their doorsteps.

Hero Corps

These heroes must band together to protect Lagos and the entire world from this imminent intergalactic threat. Will they put aside their misgivings and focus on the bigger picture or will they continue to bicker at the expense of the world? 

It’s an exciting time for African comics as they make the leap from panels to frames. Comic books are a fluid and exciting medium for storytelling; animation even more so. Comic books are essentially storyboards for film, be it animation or live-action.  Therefore, seeing comic books adapted into a film is always a delight to behold. 

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Hero Corps features a rich and colorful setting that people familiar with Nigeria and to a large extent, Africa can immediately connect with. The voice acting is pretty spot-on, particularly Boxsa, the Queen and the warrior Makena. They sound and feel natural and authentic.

The score in Hero Corps is splendid too and eases you nicely into the on-screen action. The scores were created by Ava Momoh. The visual texture of Hero Corps is reminiscent of DC Comics’ animated shows and others like it. Kudos to the team for pulling off such smooth animation.

On the flip side, Hero Corps suffers from not being very original giving the plethora of storylines like it. This is just the first episode however so it’s too early to totally back this. While the storyline so far might feel all too familiar, given its Nigerian setting and the origin of the heroes, Hero Corps might just be the fresh spin on the alien invasion storyline we’ve seen over and over. 

That aside, it also doesn’t help that there are two moments, one rather epic one and a more subtle one where certain elements were heavily copied or rather, borrowed. One, magic circles that too closely resemble Doctor Strange’s Magic and Mysterio’s optical illusions. The other moment is when the enemy pulls out a sword with an uncanny resemblance to a lightsaber. Either way, it raises a question of where the line is drawn between paying homage and copying. 

Watch Hero Corps below and tell us what you think in the comments. 

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