Monday, January 30, 2006

This Comic Was Good - Nextwave #1

I think, coming into this comic, there were two groups of people who were interested in this comic book. The first are those folks who like to read fun comic books and/or comics written by Warren Ellis. The second are those folks who are interested in obscure Marvel heroes. For that first group, Nextwave #1 was a good, fun comic book. For the second group, let me state that I am one of the bigger fans of Monica Rambeau you are going to encounter - so I empathize with you folks - and I liked Nextwave #1.

One of the most impressive aspects of Nextwave is how, just through a series of captions, Ellis is able to mold our view of the comic as he sees fit. Through these captions, he is able to achieve the goal of establishing Nextwave as a wacky, fun book. The design work of Stuart Immonen is invaluable here, but I do not know if Immonen is responsible for some of ther design of the book's presentation, like the design of the caption boxes - which often serve as bold proclamations as to the book's intent.

Ellis is not afraid to be all over the place, making jokes in all sorts of different styles, and it is a refreshing piece of letting go, of not allowing oneself to be self-conscious. Ellis occasionally throws in a few shots at superheroes, you know, the sorta bitter ones, but they are covered up by the volume of the other jokes - the over the top stuff (A running away song?!? Priceless), the subversive stuff (Captain Fuck?) and the standard F-Troopisms that worked so well for Giffen and DeMatteis in Justice League (The "fleshy ones" exchange between Monica and Aaron, for one).

As far as personalities go, Ellis is treating 3/5th of the team as blank slates, with only Monica and Tabitha getting some measure of a nod to their past histories, and there, of course, Ellis does not put any REAL effort into it, besides the basic "Tabitha used to have a lot of codenames" and "Monica used to lead the Avengers." Still, as a Monica fan, while I, of course, noticed all the changes to her backstory, they were just silly ones, mainly for a gag. This is not like when Monica was stripped of her Avengers leadership for the sake of making Captain America look good. There was no maliciousness to Monica in this issue. Any change in her past or personality was done just for a gag. In fact, a close comparison would be Blue Beetle and Booster Gold. People nowadays think of them as the comic duo from Justice League, but neither character (ESPECIALLY Beetle) was considered comic relief UNTIL Justice League, and in fact, Giffen played pretty fast and loose with their personalities to fit them INTO the comic relief structure, but people seem to be okay with THOSE changes, so I don't see why the changes to Monica and Tabitha should be that significant.

Dirk Anger, and the agents of HATE (who are tied up with the Beyond Corporation) are good for a lot of laughs, my favorite being when Dirk tells them he has been director of HATE since before they were alive - except for one guy, maybe. Comic timing is a bitch in comic books, and Ellis pulled it off swimmingly.

With this and the recent (EXCELLENT) Fin Fang Four, Fin Fang Foom is on quite the comeback trail!!

Finally, besides Ellis' fun script (and dialogue), the other star of this comic is Stuart Immonen (with great respect to his inker, Wade Von Grawbadger, who manages to hang with Immonen even as Immonen tries drastically new styles). I do not think I can even come up with a word to describe his ability in this book to be cartoonish while extremely detailed. I think I will have to just make up a word. Scarmtistic.

There you go.

I just made up the word.

Stuart Immonen's ability to mix cartoonish art (Dirk Anger in most scenes) with an extreme devotion to detail (notice the detail in the engine that Elsa breaks later in the comic) is quite scarmtistic.

Nextwave #1 was a really cool book.

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Blogger Derek B. Haas said...

Just a little note, but you misspelled "god" in the title of this post.

1/30/2006 09:15:00 AM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...


1/30/2006 03:54:00 PM  
Blogger Eli said...

I thought he was Captain Shit! Are there several shades of fuck?

1/30/2006 09:43:00 PM  

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