Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Immortal Men #3 Review

Like Towelie, I Have No Idea What's Going On

Writer: James Tynion IV
Art Team: Ryan Benjamen, Richard Friend
DC Comics
Release Date: June 13, 2018
Cover Price: $2.99

I'll just say it ... the Immortal Men has struggled out of the gate story wise to do anything of substance with all these new characters. Other than assigning everyone either the role of Hero or Villain thus far what we have is an overcrowded cast of characters, I can barely recall the names of most issues, that I'm losing interest in at record speed.  So that brings us to issue three, where I guess we're reaching the halfway point of this arc. Let's see if something finally happens I can care about going forward. 

The issue begins very uneventfully with Caden's bodyguard Roderick waking up from being knocked out wondering "Where's Waldo"?  I actually thought Roderick was dead to be honest, but why would you want to get rid of such a well-developed character? I kid, of course, this book needs to thin the heard and quickly!!! Spoiler that's not happening this issue.

It transitions from there to the 'Immortal Men', where it's now Caden's turn to wake up from unconsciousness, as the team continues to try and get him to accept his role in this 'war' he's found himself thrown in the middle of.  The actual Immortal Man introduces himself, you know the guy who looks like Vandal Savage, following Caden ominously around for two issues and then were sent packing to visit his sister the Immortal Woman and the Batman Who Laughs. 

This is where the book gets especially infuriating because the first two issues have, I thought, set us up to get some sort of answers here in issue three. We have gotten another NEW character, the guest cover star now appears, and the main bad guy is there talking over 'their' plans. However, the big reveal is even the Immortal Woman doesn't even fully understand what the Batman Who Laughs is really talking about! With his dialogue providing few coherent hints along the way, it's at this point I lose all hope for this book. I literally have no idea what the purpose of this story is, or why it has to be told at all three issues in, and it seems James Tynion has no interest in telling us anything either besides ... "IT'S THE WAR OF THE IMMORTAL'S" dun dun dun!!!!!!

The story concludes with the Immortal Woman tracking down the members left of the Immortal Men in their secret hiding spot AGAIN. It looks like we're setting up for a big fight next issue but I'm less than interested in seeing it through.  Even little Eric Shea would drop this after three ... if he made it that far.

This story has entirely too many characters fighting for any chance to say something noteworthy. Each issue is just drowning in a sea of nonsense words/phrasing to the point that when a character is finally given the opportunity to say something worthwhile it goes nowhere fast.  Instead of giving the Immortal Men a smaller scale conflict to deal with, so readers can get to know the team, and their world, we're immediately thrown into a cataclysmic event, nobody asked for, or previously even knew about, that apparently has been fought for ages, and I haven't bought one second of any of this since page one issue one. There are some powerful characters operating in the DCU and these clowns, from what I've seen of both sides of this battle, aren't too good at going anywhere quietly, how is this a secret? 

The spotlight character, Caden, shows no signs of being a hero three issues in and might be the least likable character in DC Comics at this point in the series. Caden is a spoiled rich brat, trying to throw money at his problems, who has seemingly never done a thing on his own. The sudden hero turn, inevitably coming, I certainly wont buy into when it's clearly never been earned one bit yet. Hell Caden has said 8 lines in this whole three issue series so far.  I have no idea what Tynion and the team are trying to accomplish here, but in throwing everything at the reader at once, they have me caring about nothing on top of me forgetting it all as soon as I put the book down because it's all so forgettable. 

The art is serviceable, but the draw of this book was Jim Lee's name attached to it, and with that gone the only appeal left for this title has also gone out the window.  The is nothing that is noteworthy here art wise, and even the Batman who Laughs doesn't look or even feel menacing on the page. Almost like he's a non-threat. I really feel putting him in a nothing title like the Immortal Men ruins the mystery of this character, and any appeal I have in seeing him again down the line, anytime remotely soon.

Bits and Pieces:

I don't recommend the Immortal Men after three issues and actually, find each issue more frustrating than the one that came before it as the series progresses.  We have an under-explained, extremely slow-paced form of storytelling, that no longer has the draw of Jim Lee art to bring people in.  I don't anticipate this title hanging around long, no matter how many Batman Who Laughs cameo's Tynion is going to include ... 2 in 3 issues if you're counting at home.


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