Hotshot #10

Published by Freestyle Komics


Mike Watson


Mike Watson, Veronica Smith,
Laurie Foster




Freestyle Komics


Publication Date


Hotshot #10 was one of my highlights of 2021 because of the personal connection I had to the book and it’s creator Mike Watson.  Mike’s ability to connect with fans is the very thing that makes Hotshot work as a superhero comic book.


All up in my feelings

Hotshot is a traditional coming of age/rites of passage story à la Spider-Man and Invincible.  The driving force of such stories are emotional connections; girlfriends (ugh! Carla!); family, friends, role models, etc.  Pulling on these emotional strings pulls out the very best in the protagonist.

Mike has done a wonderful job of putting Hotshot in several emotional situations that forces him to showcase the most powerful version of himself.

Issue 10 begins with such a dilemma as Hotshot wakes from a recurring nightmare that hints at a disturbing past of domestic violence.  

In his dream and in real life, this childhood trauma keeps him from summoning the energy blasts that have helped him defeat a rogue’s gallery of villains in the past (see issues 0-9).

Hard pause!

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This concept is the cornerstone of my review–the idea of a superhero possibly using his/her powers to stop abuse in their home has locked me in as a reader.  

Just imagine if Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben abused Aunt May!? What kind of hero would he have become?

Unfortunately, before this idea materializes we are pulled away by other storylines in this issue, and subsequently issue 11 as well.

Instead of facing this trauma, Hotshot is forced to battle a horde of berserk service bots in downtown Columbus.  What should have been a routine confrontation takes a tragic turn, and ultimately marks a huge turning point for Hotshot.  And yet, I still believe it pales in comparison to his dark past.


Leaving me hangin’

This leads me to my biggest criticism of this book–it attempts to take several big shots all at once and lands none of them because they are pushed to subsequent issues.

Mike (Hotshot) never resolves his past; it just lumbers into issue 11.  And the Downtown Columbus catastrophe, which can only be described as Hotshot’s version of Spider-Man’s 9/11 issue (Amazing Spider-Man #36) is left up in the air with earth shattering consequences by Mike Watson the author as well as Mike Watson the comic book character who doesn’t even bother to stay and clean up the mess.

And I know how this happens.  From a business standpoint, comic book creators use cliffhangers to keep readers on the hook month after month.  Kirkman kept me on the hook for three issues when Invincible fought Conquest the first time.  

I imagine the co-owner of the third largest comic book publisher can take such liberties with my precious time and resources. I’m not a fan of such storytelling and  I’d assume indie publishers would be more mindful of their fans’ time and their own limited resources.

Aside from this diversion I feel Hotshot #10 (and 11) is a solid book which sets up a number of milestones in the life of our hero.  I’m looking forward to them.  

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