Comic review: Nextwave #1

Nextwave #1
by Warren Ellis, Stuart Immonen and Wade von Grawbadger

I thought I should stem the potential tide of negativity that my Trimming the Collection reviews might create by waxing rhapsodic about a comic that will definitely stay in the collection.

Nextwave is funny. That is all you need to know. But it’s not much of a review. Not that I’m an expert or anything.

I’m talking laughs, here. Not just smiles or smirks; actual guffaws. This is a good thing. Everything about it is hilarious, in a deliberate way.

Take The Captain, for example. Captain (expletive deleted), or Fuck, if you can handle swearing. Actually, being British, I thought it was Captain Cunt, which makes it even funnier, but that’s just me. Silly, yes, but funny.

The basics: Monica Rambeau, formerly Captain Marvel of the Avengers, leads a splinter team of C-list heroes (Tabitha, formerly Boom-Boom and other names of the New Mutants and others; the Captain; Elsa Bloodstone, demon hunter; and Aaron Stack, former Machine Man) from H.A.T.E., a (very) thinly veiled parody of SHIELD, with their leader, Dirk Anger, a paper-thin rip-off of Nick Fury. And they end up finding Fin Fang Foom, who is wearing purple underpants. Now, that is the start for a fun comic.

Thrown in to this, we get funny dialogue (‘Silence, fleshy one.’), funny captions (‘In purple underpants.’), great visual gags (see Mark’s post for the prime example) and gentle mocking of the Marvel universe.

Now, I know I’m an Ellis whore, which is why I enjoy this so much, but the art is an equal partner in this cavalcade of chortles. Stuart Immonen, inked superbly by von Grawbadger, draws the shit out of this comic; he uses an angular, animated series style of cartoony art with a funky line, which allows him to draw beautiful scenery shots of a mountain behind a town, but also allows the scope for mad fight scenes and brilliant comedy facial expressions (witness the faces of the cadets after Dirk Anger’s hysterical introductory speech.) Together, Ellis and Immonen bring me damn good comics, for which I am grateful.

The only qualm I had about the whole thing was whether you can use the copyright symbol for a corporation. The Beyond Corporation© is mentioned in the comics, as a backer for H.A.T.E., but has the copyright symbol next to it – is that the correct usage? One for Suspension of Disbelief, I think.

All in all, a cracking comic – good writing, good art, good characters, good laughs. Bring on the next(wave) issue.

Nextwave: healing fans by giving them giggles.

Grade: A+

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