newuniversal: shockfront

by Alan Rapp on May 28, 2008

in Comics

“I’m seeing stuff, and…yeah, it makes no snse, but I taste what I’m seeing, and sometimes feel it or smell it.”

Warren Ellis’ reinterpretation of Marvel’s New Universe was one of more memorable projects from the House of Ideas last year.  Now Ellis returns with “season two,” a new six-issue mini-series entitled newuniversal: shockfront which picks up the further adventures of Earth’s new super-powered heroes and those who want them dead.

For those who haven’t read the first mini-series, available in trade paperback and hardcover (read the review), I’d suggest giving it a peruse before jumping into Season Two.

Whereas the first mini-series introduced the four core heroes, it appears this second season is going to more geared to the new super-humans gaining understanding of their powers and acceptance at the change in themselves and the world.  Kenneth it seems has finally come to terms with what has happened to him and begun to explore the power of the Starbrand as he hides out with Izanami in San Fransisco.  Things are less good for Detective Tensen who has completely lost his mind (believing himself to be some kind of angel of death in hell) and has become New York’s #1 serial killer.  Sadly we don’t get anything from the government, Project Spitfire, the archaeological dig, or Dr. Swann (and when is Emmett Proudhawk going to return?).  One of the negatives with a series with so many characters, still at this point disconnected, is giving them all enough time.

Although there is a very brief recap at the beginning of this issue those who haven’t read the first series will feel a bit lost.  shockfront builds from the events of the first mini-series and isn’t the best starting off point for new readers unfamiliar with what has already been covered.

But that doesn’t mean we won’t see a few new faces pop-up as well.  In this first issue we get a football player who tragically (and quite publicly) learns his strength has increased exponentially and a man who it appears has the abilities of a human bomb and teleporter.  It will be interesting to see how these, and possibly other new characters, are integrated into the overall story.

My only complaint here is there’s simply not enough time or space to go into more story.  I read the first mini-series as a bound collection and I get the feeling that’s probably the best way to view each “season” of the series (much like checking out an entire season of a show on DVD).  Even if it doesn’t give me everything I want I’m still happy to have picked up the issue and look forward to more newuniversal in the future.  I’d recommend both the first series as well as this follow-up, which is a far cry better than NBC’s take on a world suddenly burdened with heroes.

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