Current Reviews


Nextwave: Agents Of HATE #12

Posted: Saturday, February 17, 2007
By: Ray Tate

Writer: Warren Ellis
Artists: Stuart Immonen(p), Wade von Grawbadger(i), Dave McCaig(c)
Publisher: Marvel

You don't think that Warren Ellis can possibly top "too harsh" Broccoli "Dudes," a Man from Mars Eating Cars, MOVIS, Dormammu's nephew Skippy or Mindless Ones fighting like Jets and Sharks in West Side Story, yet he does.

For the last issue of Nextwave, Ellis leaves you in tears by hitting you with a Louisville Slugger that produces not pain but laughter, and brothers and sisters, the comedy smarts. It hurts your gut as you double over. It hurts your nose as various liquids spurt from it.

Here's what I can tell you. Machine Man is not dead. Why? Because he's a "sexy robot" that's why:

"Excuse me. Have you really ever met a robot you could kill by stabbing it through the chest?"

Ellis amps up your expectations and then just pulls the rug from under your feet to send you flying up. Ellis reveals that there was a power behind SILENT's less than deadly Number None. The revelation will leave you in tears, as will the uproarious explanation for the character. Ellis though isn't content to let things lie there. He reveals a power behind the power.

This ultimate power's identity cannot be predicted, but he does have some very sturdy Marvel roots. He will come as a complete hilarious shock as will his motives. If Nextwave were a kickass cartoon, and technically it is, this power would be voiced by Kelsey Grammar. Surprisingly urbane, his arrogance blinds him to his own willingness to fall into villainous cliché. This provides Nextwave with the impetus of his downfall, so to speak.

While Ellis' warped sense of humor and history deserves appreciation, one must not forget the contributions made from Stuart Immonen, Wade von Grawbadger and powderpufff colorist Dave McCaig. Throughout the series, they've been opening up a can of pop culture whup-ass to spread the pages with hyper-stylized characters that grew more animated with each issue. They decorated violence across the pages as a kind of visual opera of explosions. This issue the fat lady sings, and the song is a long pure note of artistic mayhem punctuated by masterful moments of characterization in a none too easily characterized creature.

All absurdity aside, the Nextwave team was created for laughs, yet they function as a cohesive unit under the superior leadership abilities of Monica Rambeau. They all like each other, or at least tolerate each other to get the job done, and brothers and sisters, this job gets done, as in stick a fork in him, he's done.

The Ellisonian

Sorry. We're shut down for spoiler removal. Come back next mini-series.

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