Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Nextwave 1-6

Forgive me, I am about to commit comic book blasphemy. I don't really like Nextwave. I've read a ton of Warren Ellis' books over the years, and the passive (or not so passive) dislike he holds for super-heroes just comes out too clearly in this series. It feels like a less offensive version of The Boys (where Ennis is able to channel his rage every month). Ellis has always had a gift for big, wacky ideas, and they are certainly present here. From the broccoli men of Human Resources to the interesting personality makeover he's given Machine Man, he still brings the ideas. The problem for me is, I'm not sure those ideas add to the overall Marvel Universe. I could be more forgiving if this was not in-continuity, but having attack koalas and rocket powered crabs attacking Marvel mainstreamers like Photon and Meltdown is a bit of a conflict. These six issues have the team flying around and attempting to foil the business plan of the Beyond Corp. a terrorist-group that is also funding the anti-terror group H.A.T.E. With Dirk Anger as a fill-in Nick Fury, the mockery is just a little too obvious for me. Super-hero comics are inherently silly, and so the cutdowns are a little like shooting fish in a barrell. I miss having costumes on these characters too, although I'm sure they would just be mocked as tran-fetish gear or something if they did show up.

I will say Stuart Immonen's art is great as usual. No matter the wackiness of the concept, Immonen knocks it out in grand style. His facial expressions are strong here too, with Machine Man's angry body language a particular high spot. His portrayal of the creatures is the best part of the series (the broccoli farm, the killer crabs and koalas, and Fin Fang Foom are all very well done).

I'm sure this was a ton of fun to create, but I just get the feeling Ellis is laughing at me, the super-fan as much as at the super-hero concept.


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