You have to love a comic dedicated to allowing creators the opportunity to unleash their own stories. We all love seeing the big names take on the big familiar characters. There is something about seeing a story based on characters the writer has created. There is more freedom and the sense that anything goes.
This issue marks the addition of Darwyn Cooke. So not only do we get Part 2s from Steve Niles and Jimmy Palmiotti's stories, there's a short that Darwyn had written and drawn. The opening intro by Cooke states his newfound realization that he needs to challenge himself and create more rather than work on existing characters.
Steve Niles concludes his dark tale about a family that learned their son was a killer. The townsfolk hung him and this is where we get to see what happens next.
Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray continue Killswitch which deals with a highly skilled operative is framed and is being targeted by a team of killer luchadores. The action and suspense will keep you glued to the pages.
Jimmy has an editorial page where you can get a taste of his charming and delightful personality. Justin Gray gives some great advice to new writers and what they should focus on. Steve Bunch also gives some writing advice that offers even more great insight. If that wasn't enough, Steve Niles conducts a great interview with Bernie Wrightson.
There's a lot contained in each issue but it may not be for everyone. Unless you look at this as being more of a magazine rather than just a comic, not everyone may benefit from the brilliant insight being offered. Some may be here just for the stories. Aside from the articles and interviews, you do still get 30 pages of story.
This also isn't the best jumping on point since both main stories continue from the previous issue.
The hardest part of this series is, even though you know you're going to get some great stories by Gray, Palmiotti and Niles (and now Cooke), you can't always be quite sure what kind of stories you'll get. They've been mixing up the genres which is great but if there's a two or three part story dealing with one that you're not crazy about, it could be problematic. Stories rely on their characters and there's always that awkward moment when reading a new character and trying to decide if they'll appeal to you or not.
This may not necessarily be 'bad' but I wanted more of Killswitch right now.
You have to commend everyone involved in CREATOR OWNED HEROES. Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti and Steve Niles have been delivering orignal characters and stories for six issues now. This is also another thing that makes Image Comics cool as well. We're seeing Darwyn Cooke being added to the roster as he has decided he needs to start doing more creator owned material. This is more than just a comic, it has a magazine feel to it with interviews and articles about getting started writing. The problem is both main stories are continuations from the last issue. Looking at the series overall, you know you'll get great stories but you never know what the stories will be about or if it'll be based on a genre you enjoy. For $3.99, you get 30 pages of story plus all the extra content. This truly is a good deal and a book you should think about supporting each month.