Dan Slott and Mike Allred; cover by Mike Allred
Oh, this is gonna be fun.
Our Surfer is out in space doing his Surfer thing, being kind to smaller creatures and suchlike. But many years ago, twin girls Eve and Dawn mistook him for a falling star and made a wish on him. Eve’s wish was to travel. Dawn’s wish was for “the star to stay up there so everybody could get a wish.”
Back in the present day, The Impericon, a giant space bazaar, is in danger, and the Surfer has been chosen as their Champion, to fight off the great threat. To ensure his cooperation (which they would’ve got anyway because Norrin Radd is that kind of guy), their device plucks out the most important person in their Champion’s life. Turns out it’s Dawn–whom the Surfer has never seen before in his life. As for Dawn? She never wanted to leave her home town, ever; and now she’s in outer space.
Allred’s art is full of wonderful detail and color. The aliens are a fun feast for the eyes. And the greatest compliment I can give this first issue is that my immediate thought was how much this book reminds me of Mike Baron & Steve Rude’s Nexus, which was another decent fellow and a girl looking out for a giant space community.
PS: Read the Silver Surfer Infinite special along with it. You can see Allred getting his Kirby groove on.
Brian Michael Bendis and Joe Quinones; cover by Olivier Coipel
I feel a little bit ripped off. The cover makes it look like regular Marvel NOW, but this is actually an Ultimate universe title. But Bendis’ name was on it, as was Quinones, so it’s my own fault for letting the names and a bit of graphic design catch me out. Oh yeah, and Storm and Sue Storm are on the cover. Only one of whom actually appear in the issue. (Hint: it wasn’t the woman of color.)
That aside, it wasn’t a bad jumping on point for a new reader who isn’t super familiar with the Ultimate universe titles. I have been reading Ultimate Spider-Man since Miles took over, so I have a little familiarity and that’s it. Without getting all spoilery, Galactus nearly ate Ultimate earth, and two of the founding Ultimates (the Avengers of the Ultimate universe) fell stopping him. Reed Richards, who was until recently an evil terrorist type, seems to have reformed, and now the world is trying to rebuild itself from New Jersey outwards. The old guard Ultimates are done for the moment, but there are some young bucks who really showed their stuff during the Cataclysm, and they’re ready to step up as the new Ultimates.
The whole thing was framed by a teary-eyed Tony Stark giving a eulogy for Captain America and Thor, which I thought was an interesting device to show flashbacks of the heroes who are ready to step up.
So I’m curious. A little. I don’t know if I’m curious enough to keep picking it up after being cover-duped. You don’t show me Storm on the cover then give her no lines or even a panel inside the book.
Kurtis J. Wiebe and Roc Upchurch
I cannot stop singing the praises of this series and have been flailing all over the internet. I’ve even bought copies for a few of my friends because when I find something this amazing, I consider it my duty to share it with everyone I can.
The Rat Queens are a group of mercenaries: Hannah the brazen elven sorceress, Dee the human doubting, introverted cleric, Violet the hipster dwarf warrior, and Betty the big-hearted smigden rogue with a penchant for drugs and candy. Together they form a typical roleplaying party set-up, and a knowledge of gaming certainly does help, but isn’t necessary to appreciate these strike first, take names later ladies. They bounce right out of the RPG standards, as well as what you’d expect from females in a comic book. They are deadly, sexy, unapologetic, crude, spiteful, vulnerable, sweet, loyal … the list goes on, but I’ll summarize it by saying that I absolutely adore them.
A bar brawl introduces us to the Rat Queens as they get themselves into more trouble in the city they claim to be protecting. As punishment, they and several other amusing mercenary bands are sent out on various quests–typical RPG fodder, such as cleaning out goblin strongholds or liberating treasure. But when each group falls prey to deadly assassins, it becomes clear that they have been set up. The mystery of who arrange the elaborate trap unwinds as the main plot, however, there are a few other enticing threads along the edges, including some interesting insight into the characters themselves.