Storytellers: Jim Lee, Ryan Benjamin, James Tynion IV
Inkers: Scott Williams, Richard Friend
Publisher: DC Comics
Reviewed by Simon “BlaxKleric” Moore
Originally planned for a December 2017 release as “part of the New Age of DC Heroes line”, this twenty-page periodical would seem to have suffered a series of delays before the Burbank-based publishing company’s “Direct Channel” retail newsletter finally confirmed it had been re-solicited for April instead. Whatever the reason for its delay, with one rumour being that co-creator Jim Lee subsequently signed “on to illustrate a Brian Michael Bendis’ story for… Action Comics #1000”, it certainly doesn’t seem to have affected the quality of either the writing or artwork. In fact, for some of this book’s younger bibliophiles they’ll doubtless be the enjoyably exhilarating feeling of following in a specially-gifted super-team’s footsteps for the first time and the excitement which comes with the recruitment to their roster of someone who will supposedly “save the world”; a somewhat familiar sentiment to those who experienced Chris Claremont’s opening instalment of “New Mutants” way back in 1983…
Fortunately, such obvious comparisons to “Marvel Comics” mutants and Professor Charles Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters is arguably a strength to James Tynion IV’s script for Issue One of “The Immortal Men”, as it allows the New Yorker to consistently wrong-foot those within this comic’s older audience who unwisely believe that they’ve seen “The End Of Forever” all before. Foremost of these compelling contradictions is the fact that the Campus, “the Fifth house of the Immortals” and “one mile beneath Philadelphia”, has been utterly destroyed, along with hundreds of the refuge’s occupants. In addition, the remaining team members, whilst clearly a formidably-strong band of super-powered heroes, are alarmingly already on the run for their very lives from a foe whose seemingly easy ability to kill their kind make her appear awfully omnipotent.
Such ‘hooks’ really help immerse the reader into the narrative, and one can’t help but feel their pulse pound as Jim Lee dynamically pencils Ghost Fist leading the Immortal Man’s shell-shocked survivors headlong down “a much different sort of secret cavern” in a desperate escape bid, whilst the Infinite Woman, the Hunt and their multiple-fanged, dire wraith-like monsters track them down. Certainly, when coupled with Caden Park’s emergence as a meta-human, this all-pervading sense of persecution and flight makes it hard to put the publication down until it ends with a wickedly delightful cliff-hanger on board a claustrophobic underground train carriage; “I think you know the answer. I think you’ve always known we’re the Immortal Men. Now get up and fight.”
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