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Next #5

Posted: Saturday, November 4, 2006
By: Ray Tate



Writer: Tad Williams
Artists: Dietrich Smith(p), Walden Wong(i), Chris Chuckry(c)
Publisher: DC

This excellent issue of The Next advances the plot and adds more mystery to the question of who among the Next decided to save Monika, their earth girl associate.

Last issue, Sion, the brutish Nazi-type smacking Superman on the cover, imprisoned the Next and the Big Red S in a highly-advance, alien cage. This issue The Next find a very clever means of escape. Ben utilizes physics to extricate all out of their cell. Cindy, though protesting the inanity of such a move but lacking a better idea, allows Ben to take the risk.

Ben takes his shot after Monika attempts to stand up to Sion. This causes an interesting reaction to the usually hard-edged Poetry Slam. If none of these names mean anything to you, don't worry. Tad Williams without clunky exposition explains who's who and what's what.

The Next finish off the issue by dealing with Sion. Mr. Williams does not cheat his readers. He uses what he foreshadowed in his story for the Next--comparatively low-powered beings--to win. Metron's appearance at the end of the book and the revelation of the menace suggests that a happy ending hasn't yet manifested, but I have faith in Superman and these quirky characters.

Smith's and Wong's art continues to be a boon in a book that plays with quantum realities and time travel. At the same time Smith and Wong make Superman look powerful as well as proportionate, especially when compared to Sion, who is far freer with his form than anatomic fairness allows.



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