I’ll never understand editorial direction in comic books. It always seems to boil down to personal preference rather than fan reaction and what's best for the brand. Case in point is Marvel’s now defunct “space” line of books that at best received half-assed marketing and terrible scheduling. The biggest WTF moment of the cosmic line was Marvel losing the dream team of Abnett and Lanning. Can you imagine if this idea had seen fruition at the “house of ideas?” It would probably one of their top books much in the way it’s one of Boom’s top selling book, but I’m glad that the “house of mouse” passed on it because it saved it from editorial preferences and shows that a space book can sell if marketed properly.
We Bastards missed out on the second issue, but I made damn sure that I caught up before starting the third issue and I’m glad I did. The second issue was great, but the third issue just has something extra juicy about it. Perhaps it’s the introduction to our villain the man who’s responsible for so much heart-ache and pain for the Hypernaturals or any of the character moments that turn these power houses into real people.
The story opens in the past with an explanation of what happened to Stellarator. It’s an intense opening sequence that establishes how dangerous Sublime is while also creating heartfelt tragedy at the same time. From there our current roster of inactive, now active Hypernaturals travels to Omni-Max Prison (fucking awesome name) the only facility that can hold Sublime. Meanwhile, our rookies on the team figure out what makes Halfshell so damn hot headed right before they're thrown into a situation that will force them to work together.
This is a very enjoyable issue. It bounces around from different perspectives, but it has a strong movie feel to the story. It’s almost like an epic western in which our main characters have been sucked back into the world they’ve tried to leave behind. Through this style of storytelling it creates a richer, fuller world as the history of our character doesn’t make them feel so new. I personally find this type of storytelling to be very smart as it trains comic book readers to not be afraid of a character and story with history. If more comics read like this then we wouldn’t need to reboot entire comic companies just because the issue numbers have gotten too high. Great character development mixed with dialog that gives these still unfamiliar characters personality.
The art is good and matches the stories feel and tone. It does look as if some of the pages are rushed with very loose coloring and inking and if you were expecting the same art team then don't. It’s not a new problem with the Boom monthly books, but it’s one that needs to be corrected if the monthly titles are going to continue to be successful. If they’re smart they’ll have use a formula that has one team of artists per a storyline rather than the grab bag of artists we’re already starting to see on the book. The arts good, but it’s on this dangerous middle ground where it could go south quick. I hope that doesn’t happen because it would be a shame to miss out on a great story due to the art.
Boom has a bunch of great monthly titles and this one is no exception. I love the world and the feel that The Hypernaturals has and can’t wait to finish the story, but more importantly I can’t wait to see what comes after this story. That’s when it will be really impressive and that’s when Marvel will realize what they threw away due someone’s dislike of “space” books. Good catch Boom, keep it up.
Writers: Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning
Artist: Tom Derenick & Andres Guinaldo
Publisher: Boom Studios
Release Date: 9/5/12