I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving! I know I did. Here are some of the books from this past Wednesday that I liked the best! If you are already reading these books you know how good they are. If you are not reading them, perhaps I could persuade you to give them a flip through at the store. You never know, you might just find your next favorite series!
I, VAMPIRE #3
Written by Joshua Hale Fialkov
Art by Andrea Sorrentino
The best thing I read this week was I, Vampire. I know I have reviewed this book before, but please let me be clear; it is now tied with Animal Man as my favorite of the DC52 books. In my opinion it is better than Aquaman, Justice League, Batman, Wonder Woman, Action Comics, and Batwoman. This is important to note because I enjoy all of those book very much. So when I say I, Vampire is better than them you understand exactly what I am saying.
I enjoyed the first issue for the mood, setting, and the hints at what we were going to get with this series. I loved the second issue for showing the readers what is at stake (pun intended) with the impending Vampire Civil War. This issue though is the one grows the story by adding allies for Andrew Bennett in his quest to stop the evil Mary from unleashing her Vampire armies on the world.
Last week, I read Hellspawn: The Complete Collection, which was a fantastic art book with a pretty good story, too. Since I’ve been having so much fun with mainstream books, I thought I would try another. I decided to go with one of the biggest, most mainstreamy names I could think of, so I read NEXT MEN PREMIERE EDITION VOLUME 1, written and illustrated by John Byrne, published by IDW.
The "Next Men" are late teens/early 20-somethings who were genetically modified as babies and raised in a computer generated world. The group is freed from the machines that "store" them and they quickly discover the real world is far different from the one in which they were raised. While they were normal looking inside the computer world, once in the real world they quickly start to mutate as their genetic enhancements develop. They are the first people in the world with abilities beyond the normal person… but is the world ready for them?
Over the past decade I think Byrne’s outspoken and slightly grumpy attitude has cost him some of the respect he is rightfully due. His run from X-Men to Fantastic Four to Superman has got to be of the greatest runs by a writer/artist ever. Next Men is at the tail end of that peak period but it still packs a punch. This is a solid science fiction comic with slight superhero overtones. This is one of the earliest books to really address the idea of superpowered people in a modern world.
This volume collects John Byrne’s Next Men issues #0 to 10, which were originally published in 1992. Byrne quickly sets the premise and starts working his way through the obvious plotlines with deft skill. The questions, such as why were the children mutated and how it was done, are quickly answered. At the same time Byrne spends equal time developing the group as individuals and how they deal with the changes that are happening to them and around them. It’s interesting to see how Byrne tried to apply real physics to superpowers and the likely consequences of having them.