Warren Ellis finally gets to have some fun at Marvel Comics with his new Next Wave. I just picked up the third issue and the "Director’s Cut" of the first issue (I’m not a completist, I just missed the first printing, getting in on the second issue). Next Wave is a pirate super-hero team of real, forgotten Marvel characters (Captain Marvel, Boom Boom, Bloodstone and Machine Man (I have loved Machine Man ever since he crushed coal into diamonds in his purple robot hands 20-some years ago)) and a new parody character (the Captain or he could be too obscure for me or a combination of different Marvel Captains). The team used to work for H.A.T.E., but Boom Boom stole their parent corporation’s (Beyond Corp.) marketing plan and the team had to go rogue to save the world from H.A.T.E.’s Unusual Weapons of Mass Destruction (UWMDS). It’s all in the marketing plan, you should read it, an eye-opener.
The book has a decidely FLCL feel with a new UWMD to deal with every couple issues and crazy action that kicks.
Next Wave-isms you will love: crazy car-drop-from-sky-crush-enemy action, Bloodstone beating Beyond Corp. Human Resources robots with a Gibson electric guitar, Machine Man creepily insulting us "fleshy ones," Captain Marvel’s constant, "In the Avengers we would…", their former boss and head of H.A.T.E., Dirk Anger’s suicide attempts and Machine Man’s ability to get drunk, though he’s a robot. I’ve said too much.
Stuart Immonen’s art is pitch perfect, channeling Steranko tech and the clean, ultra-cool, non-psychodelic style of Bill Sienkiewicz’s Electra Assassin. The art is colored flat, two-shade like anime or Invincible.
Go find the first three issues for less than an hour of comic fun. Remember to listen to the theme song.