Thursday, February 25, 2010

Nextwave #1

Like many mainstream Marvel readers, I had no idea what Nextwave was about (until it was too late). I saw it on the shelves for about a year, noticed the cover art was fun and impressive, and was aware that Warren Ellis was the writer; yet, for some unknown reason I never picked the book up. My action, along with many other comic book consumers, is a partial reason for the cancellation of the series (which by issue #3 had changed it's title to Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E.). The sales were not that great and could not keep the superstar grouping of creators on the book.

As I mentioned, Warren Ellis wrote and created Nextwave. His name alone can usually carry a title, but on Nextwave, Ellis had some help by the names of Stuart Immonen and Dave McCaig. I know...how did this book get canceled with these three names involved? Immomen, the current artist on Marvel's New Avengers, provided excellent sharp looking characters and environments. His work is very crisp and lends itself well to colorists looking to keep their reds, blues, and what have yous in between the lines. Colorist Dave McCaig took full advantage of Immonen's clean characters by using a very bright wide spanning pallet to make the art pop right off the page. The action has power behind it and the panels separate themselves from each other while still maintaining a familiar vibrate tone. What I am trying to say is...I've seen better.

Besides the amazing art Ellis marks his territory as always with sharp dialog and great story configuration. He tells the Nextwave story in a unique way that establishes the characters along the way. A quick flash back of the former Captain Marvel in Nextwave #1 gives a bit of depth to the character in a way that doesn't feel forced. Ellis has the ability to make this Marvel book feel like it is an independent book in it's own world while still using the Marvel universe as his base. Ellis hooks the reader with one issue as few writers can do.

The creative team's comic of the day, Nextwave #1, is both a quick introduction to some of the characters readers will be following and the first story of this anti-terrorist squad code named, H.A.T.E.. They are a group of "semis" and "almost made its." Nextwave #1 has the feel of a comic book re-energizing former D-list characters. Right off the bat you know you have heard of the cast of characters, but what you thought you knew about them isn't important. After reading Nextwave #1, clearly Warren Ellis has better memories in store for readers.

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