Current Reviews


Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. #12

Posted: Monday, February 19, 2007
By: Kelvin Green

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

Publisher: Marvel Comics

The Nextwave Squad fight a baby MODOK and then discover that the mastermind behind their troubles is none other than Devil Dinosaur, who spouts Thatcherite slogans in order to hide his shame at being ridden by a monkey for most of his comic career. Stuff blows up, and the Nextwave Squad stand around posing and being cooler than a very cool thing.

Stuart Immonen's art is full of Kirbyesque exuberance that makes the pages crackle with hyper-kinetic storytelling energy, exactly what's
needed to make a story featuring floating cities and talking dinosaurs work. Yet Immonen is equally adept at conveying smaller character moments and, at the other end of the scale, Authority-esque scenes of wanton devastation. He's what all writers must dream of, an intelligent artist who's thought things through and is able to easily grasp when it's better to tone things down with some dialogue scenes full of well-observed facial expressions and body language, and when it's time to cut loose by setting a dinosaur wearing a smoking jacket on fire. Warren Ellis' sharp writing proves that he's the best scripter in superhero comics, by delivering great big slabs of tight, snarky dialogue ("Have you really ever met a robot you could kill by stabbing it through the chest? My beer-deprived robot brain says: No, pusbag, you haven't.") and by telling us all sorts of things about the characters without, you know, just telling us about the characters. Nextwave is a super dense singularity of a superhero comic, packed full of concise graphic storytelling goodness, and it's the true successor to the boundless creative energy of the Kirby/Lee era.

I cannot for the life of me imagine why the majority of you lot think that all of the above is in any way less awesome than Captain America and Iron Man arguing about a strained civil rights metaphor for eighty issues. You're hairy, live-birth nut-eating skin monsters, the lot of you, and you never deserved a comic like Nextwave.

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