Wednesday, April 11, 2018

The Immortal Men #1 Review

The Immortal Men's Day Out

Storytellers: Jim Lee, Ryan Benjamin, and James Tynion IV
Art Team: Jim Lee, Ryan Benjamin, Scott Williams,
Richard Friend, Jeremiah Skipper, Alex Sinclair
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: April 11, 2018

The New Age of Heroes continues this week with another new title as Immortal Men launches to the masses. I'll be honest, I don't know much about who's making up this team, but it's a new number one issue, so I'm here to find out and see what the purpose behind this title's release is.  Join me and lets go on a journey of discovery together.

The story begins with a character named Caden Park, a boy who's having reoccurring dreams of running from death, with others like him. Unlike the others Caden dreams of, Caden at times is able to escape to a safe place called 'the Campus', free of death and time.  Here he always meets a peering powerful set of eyes, that speak to a mission of purpose, where everything feels very real before he wakes up and we discover this has been happening to our poor main character again and again.  It's all a very ominous beginning eluding to a greater mystery at hand obviously. 

Caden's story continues at the physiologist office after just having one of his 'dream attacks' of the Campus on the subway. He talks over his feelings and reactions with the nice physiologist lady, only to be told he's full of nonsense, even downplaying his powers when asked to display them for her, then walks out to his parents.  The family walks out into the city together where Caden talks them into letting him go see a band, with his buddies, before we thankfully finally move on, to hopefully something more interesting, because Caden just isn't doing it for me yet in this story. 

Next up is what appears to very well be the villains of the story filling us in on their intentions. Flashing again to the Campus, which we find is located underneath Philadelphia, we're introduced to the Hunt, who appears to be a henchman of sorts to the bigger bad at hand, the Infinite Woman, the oldest living woman.  Hunt reports four appear to remain left out there for them to kill, before their conversation is interrupted, by none other than Dark Nights Metal fan favorite the Batman Who Laughs ... a surprise to me to say the least, especially so soon. 

Batman Who Laughs essentially brags about all the people he's killed before saying he never understands why those who are immortal, and truly have the most power, remain in the background on all the Earths he's been to ... not a bad point for a maniac.  This seems to give these two big bad's (Hunt and Infinite Woman) a push in the direction they need (possibly), and they reveal they're going after the last person's file Immortal Man looked upon his grid ... you guessed it, our main character, Caden Park. 

Speaking of the four Immortal Men the baddies spoke of earlier we finally get a glimpse of them here in action in the sewers, scaring the bejesus out of a few city workers, before taking down whats referred to as a Bloodless.  The four characters who do the bidding of the Immortal Man are Ghost Fist (looks like Green Hornet), Timber (girl with Domino mask), Stray (the hairy one), and Reload (the Moon Knight looking one), and after taking out the Bloodless, reveal they are also on the hunt for Caden Park. So we have everyone looking for this one special boy, who could end or save the world, which is beginning to remind me a bit of the first Star Wars. At this point it got better but still hasn't really grabbed me yet to the point I'm begging for more.

The issue begins its conclusion with Caden on the subway, with his boys, headed to the show mentioned earlier.  Caden catches a glimpse of the man he's been seeing in his dream and follows him to the next set of subway cars.  Unknowingly to Caden, this is all a trap set by the Infinite Woman, who then unleashes her Bloodless creatures on Caden, who frankly looks up shits creek without a paddle at this point in our story.  However our cliffhanger reveal is the Immortal Men coming to the aid of Caden, offering to help him understand his powers, but first he has to get up and help fight. 

Overall, this was a decent first issue, with some solid storytelling, that did a decent job of establishing at least a set of names for everyone, and a loose set of abilities for some characters, we're going to be dealing with going forward.  However, with that being said, I wasn't super enthused or excited reading my way through this issue, and find a hard time recommending it story-wise as a must read first issue.  If the concept intrigues you more than it does me to start off I think you'll have more fun with this issue, but I needed a little more of something to get me hooked off the bat drooling for more next issue and I just didn't get that. I will peek at issue two to see if I'm coming back for three and if it remains good Ill stay.  I hope this all makes sense I'm very conflicted so far about where I stand because I can see good bones in the work it just might not be a fit for me.

The art is solid but not spectacular either.  While Jim Lee's name on book used to make it an automatic must buy, now it just looks rather average without much special about it. Nothing like his commission work done on social media for example, which still looks great and inspired, but there also isn't a whole lot but extended talking and introductions for him to work with here either.  Again solid work but not spectacular.

Bits and Pieces:

While Immortal Men has the benefit of having some of the bigger creative names in DC's stable on the book, I found myself more excited after reading and finishing New Age of Heroes books like Damage, the Terrific's, and Silencer. The story is decent, and the art is solid, but I didn't find a hook or character in the book that really grabbed my interest and ran with it.  I'd say maybe peek at a friends copy and see if it's for you.