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The kind of bubble-face, clip-art looking animation used here gets a bad rep, and in my opinion rightfully so, but I wouldn't call this comic painful to look at - Just that it's a style not everyone's gonna enjoy. HoT is pretty obviously inspired at least in part by Steven Universe, and while I think the story in SU has a lot more depth to it, I prefer HoT's story if only because there aren't a million episodes of filler.

One thing I will say, though - In SU, Steven himself is supposed to be 14-ish, but he looks and acts more like an 8 y/o. As if there wasn't already enough of a vibe that the gems were bad parents. Well, in HoT I'm getting that same vibe from Cyrus. He's supposed to be about 13, but he acts like a pre-pubescent, and once again, there's an implicit theme that Helene might not be the best mother out there, even if she's trying. The reason I bring this up is because in Steven Universe, the gems being bad parents seemed very unintentional, like the writers didn't quite understand how Steven's personality came off, but in HoT, it does seem intentional, which makes me curious as to what the payoff to all this is.

The individual story arcs I found to be kind of hit-or-miss. The Caesar arc in particular I thought was really boring. Did it even have any impact on the plot? I honestly can't remember. He's a very 2-dimensional bad guy who only cares about luxury and power. Which, okay, that's pretty accurate to the real-life Caesar, but the real-life Caesar was also very intuitive and surprisingly wise. One of his most famous lines was spoken when he passed by a Gaulish town and saw his soldiers mocking the 'barbaric' Celtic traditions and their relative poverty compared to Rome. He then shocked the soldiers by rebuking them and saying "I would sooner be first here than second in Rome".

In other words, he had enough inner strength not to require any sort of justification for his love of excess: Whether he belonged to the "superior" Roman Republic or the "inferior" Celtic tribal kingdoms was irrelevant in that regard. Another famous line from him is his lament after reading about Alexander's conquests - at the age of 33, he had achieved 'nothing of significance', while Alexander by that time had lived a life so full of exploits he had become a living legend. Many among the wealthy and powerful are incapable of such humility - they let their egos run away with them and believe themselves to be exceptionally superior people who 'deserve' their societal status. I would have liked to have seen more of that humility in this comic's version of Caesar, it would have given him a lot more depth.

The Osiris arc, on the other hand, I think is excellent. His motivations are simple - he wants to be ruler of Thantopolis and is envious of Helene's position - but because he has a lot of ground to stand on as far as his justifications go (justifications Cyrus only further supplies and enhances, for that matter), the political game between him and the other gods becomes a lot more interesting and helps to expand the setting. Why did a minor goddess like Helene come into such a powerful and influential position, instead of someone with more clout behind them like Hel or Hades? Great intrigue.

Heroes of Thantopolis has some rough moments, but nothing that ever made me want to stop reading. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys fantasy or mystery-driven cartoons like Gravity Falls, Steven Universe, and Scooby-Doo.

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