newuniversal: 1959

by Alan Rapp on August 21, 2008

in Comics

  • Title: newuniversal 1959 (One-shot)
  • Comic Vine: link

“We know the rules of Natural Selection.”

Given his role in Civil War and its aftermath many have called for the head of Tony Stark.  Ask, and ye shall receive.  Here, in this special one-shot from the mind of Kieron Gillen, come the beginnings of Project Spitfire, the event known as “the Fireworks,” and how, in this world, the Marvel Age was killed in its infancy.

This new one-shot looks back into events mentioned in the newuniversal mini-series (read the review) which describes a previous celestial event and the actions taken by Philip Voight and Project Spitfire to stop what they fear might be coming.  It begins with the reveal that Tony Stark was chosen to be his generation’s Cipher, which gave him an increased ability with technology that led to the Iron Man armor and other inventions – and doomed him to a gruesome death at the hands of the secret branch of the US Government.

The story moves between the Fireworks and Voight’s eventual claim to the head of Spitfire.  Over the pages of this one-shot we begin to see some of the reasons for Spitfire’s existence, the events which frightened them, and the reasons for their brutal response to a dangerous unknown threat of super-humans.

What’s so well captured here is the fear and Voight’s fanaticism which is allowed to flourish under these conditions.  A murder spree for the common good is still a murder spree, and the grounds for his actions are shaky at best.

I like the look of the book by Greg Scott and Kody Chamberlain quite a bit.  It has the right nostalgic feel looking back at the late 50’s, an age of fear and big government gone a tad too far.

There’s much here worth seeing.  Tony Stark getting his head blown off would be enough on its own, but there’s also a pretty good tale here of how fear and lack of understanding can lead to longterm consequences.  I applaud the idea of the Fireworks being the event to trigger Marvel’s early heroes and allowing Voight to be the one to end the Marvel Age before it ever began.  Is Voight a villain, from our perspective yes, but, like all great villains he sees himself as a hero, and given the situation he’s presented with we can understand his actions even if we don’t agree with them.  I’m glad newuniversl is back on the shelves with season two and look forward to more one-shots like this filling in the gaps of the universe.

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