In the late 1990s, a small German comic publisher named IPP (Ideenschmiede Paul & Paul) released their own comic, a fantasy/action title named "Helden", intended to cash in on the success US superhero comics were having in Germany at that time. In fact, the company was founded specifically so they could release "Helden". Written and drawn by Ralf Paul, the plot is allegedly based on the transcript of an RPG session. Surprisingly enough, despite a ridiculously optimistic production run for German standards at that time (simply ridiculous by today's standards), issue 1 sold out within months, a success repeated by issue 2. Well, don't expect a monthly release schedule from a self-created title by an upstart German publisher, so it took four years to get all six issues out. Note that the comic was not "cancelled", as it was billed as a "prequel" to a German superhero comic named "Dorn" starting with issue 2 (which got an additional numbering as "Dorn -5" on its cover). After Helden finished its six-issue run, a trade paperback named "Helden light" was published (with the additional numbering "Dorn 0"), followed by Dorn #1 shortly afterwards. How a superhero story set in modern-day Germany (actually, by the time the comic came out, it was set in the then far-flung future of... 2007) can spin out of a fantasy comic set in a medieval-style world? That's partially explain in issue 7. Which is part of issue 6. Yes. And because the Paul brothers thought that "Helden", being that successful in Germany (well, the first two issues, at least), was far too good to be limited to their home country, they decided to release an English version of it as well. Through a joint venture named "Caption Comics", the six issues of "Helden" were released in the USA in 2001, this time on a monthly schedule. Reportedly, distribution was bad, and people actually interested in a translated German comic had a lot of trouble getting their hands on the issues. I've also read reports back in the day that the US issues were mostly re-imported by Germans who already owned the German edition. "Dorn", meanwhile, was never released in the USA. Speaking of "Dorn": The title "Helden" was billed as a mere "prequel" to only got four issues out to this day. Issue 5 has been announced since 2006 or so. Seriously. But now, IPP are making the already released issues of "Helden" and "Dorn" available as webcomics, in both languages. For free. The only downside is that "Helden" only gets updated with two pages a week, and Dorn with one page a week. So it's going to be a while until you can read the whole thing. However, "Helden" #1 is available in its entirety at this point. You can read the English version here: Helden : IPP-Comics I'll share my own thoughts on it later. Only so much for now: The artwork... isn't that bad. Sure it's inspired by early 1990s Image Comics (Ralf Paul cites Todd McFarlane's "Spawn" and Dale Keown's "Pitt" as inspirations), but there's no denying that a lot of effort went into it, and you can kinda see why it took so long for a new issue to come out... The story, on the other hand, is just bad. The characters are bland, I can't even tell who most of these guys are after having read the whole thing three times, the plot is meandering and ultimately devolving into an insane mess with a stupid, stupid "ending"... More on that by the time the online re-publication reaches issue 6. The English version, despite coming across as somewhat stilted, isn't that bad from what I can tell, having compared it to the original. There are no less than four (!) translators credited for the six issues, two of them for all six of them. There's only one genuine translation error later down the road, plus one character who I found a lot more annoying than in the German version due to a stupid accent thy decided to give him that's not in the original version. And no, before anyone asks, the comic really "doesn't make more sense if you read it in German". Everything that's faulty with the storytelling is there in the original as well. The worst part, though? This is one of the most ambitious, professionally done comics (by US standards, at least) ever to come out of Germany.