27 December 2013

Nextwave: Agents Of H.A.T.E. Ultimate Collection

This Christmas I decided not to add to my read-pile, on the grounds that it was already embarrassingly large, but to use the holiday to make a serious dent in it. The first book that I tackled was Nextwave: Agents Of H.A.T.E. by Warren Ellis and Stuart Immonen.

Nextwave is firmly seated on the edges of the Marvel Universe and it reuses characters from Machine Man to the Mindless Ones and from Boom Boom to Devil Dinosaur.

It is part parody with S.H.I.E.L.D. becoming H.A.T.E. and Nick Fury becoming Dirk Anger.

The comic is a action-fest with a thick vein of humour. It is almost a lighter version of Global Frequency which Ellis wrote for DC Comics a couple of years earlier. Or it is Transmetropolitan (written for DC just before H.A.T.E.) with more action.

It also has several pages with no written words so this is definitely a Warren Ellis book.

Nextwave is constructed as six story arcs, each of two comics originally, that combine to make one bigger story. This contrasts with, for example, Global Frequency and Transmetropolitan both of which are a series of single issues.

Stuart Immonen, a long-time regular for Marvel, is the artist and he does a good job of combining the action and the humour, which is the point of the book. Having one artist reinforces the single story aspect of the book.

I like the book though I suspect that you need a good knowledge of the Marvel Universe to appreciate it properly. I have read both Machine Man and Devil Dinosaur but I suspect that not many people can say that.

Nextwave describe itself as being about things blowing up and people being kicked, and it is. So if you like films like The Expendables then Nextwave could be for you. Personally I found it just a little too light for my taste, especially when compared to the brilliant Global Frequency.

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