What’s on your quarantine reading list?

Okay Brad, I finished NextWave: Agents of HATE. Irreverent, silly and over the top fun. A complete disrespect of everything that made comics serious, but an absolute deconstruction of the superheroic, monster-hunting, super-agency zeitgeist which was common in comics from the seventies to the nineties. Dirk Anger is Nick Fury. Squint. You can see it if you squint.

A CONFESSION:

I am one of those rare people who has never read NextWave. I knew it existed. I have used images from it such as the Mindless Ones dressed in civilian clothing, but somehow managed to avoid ever reading it. As a fan of Monica Rambeau, currently called Spectrum, it was suggested that I was not a real fan if I hadn’t read NextWave.

Written by Warren Ellis, back in 2006-2007, whose drug intake should be questioned, and drawn by Stuart Immonen, the two create a series featuring characters best forgotten until the two of them recreated them for this twelve issue limited series.

The series features Elsa Bloodstone, monster-hunter extraordinaire, nigh-invulnerable, martial arts mastery and a shotgun-wielding death dealing machine. The Captain, a mysterious beneficiary of Superman’s like powers with none of the restraint, morality, or good sense normally associated with such power. He is a mockery of superhero-dom and knows it.

Aaron Stack, Machine Man, a character which has spent three decades trying to become interesting and failing miserably until now. Figures. A deconstruction makes him interesting…

Monica Rambeau, once Captain Marvel by mistake, Photon by choice, left the Avengers when her powers weakened and was restored to greatness by this deconstruction, where she cuts loose with vigor and gusto and many tales of her adventures with the Avengers, which everyone hates. And of questionable X-fame, Tabitha Smith, aka Boom Boom or Meltdown depending on who you ask, who spent the series blowing things up with abandon and almost no restraint. Best appearance in years.

OPINION:

NextWave manages to take a host of characters and makes a parody of them, in such a way they turn into awesome characters you want to see again.

From Broccoli-Shock Troops to the Mindless Ones from the Dim Dimension to the cavalier genius of Devil Dinosaur, entrepreneur, NextWave shows there is no idea too silly it can’t be made sillier, and ultimately it stands alone as a retconned, parallel universe everyone is better served if none of the ideas mentioned ever cross over into the mainstream Marvel Universe.

What kind of questions you ask? Questions such as where do baby MODOKs come from? Nope. We don’t need the answer to that. No one does. Stop thinking about it. I said stop thinking about it. Now you have ME thinking about it. Make it stop!!!!!!

Despite its complete apparent lack of any relationship to the mainstream Marvel reality, I did enjoy its irreverent tone. But I was reminded that these stories, no matter how weird they may appear have a connection to the canon reality and thus no matter what we would like to think, they can and did happen. I also enjoyed seeing Monica Rambeau cutting loose with her powers. I was not a fan of the art, but it seemed appropriate to the tone of the story and thus it was perfect in its way.

RATING:

Thanks for the recommendation, Brad. I give it: 7.75 of 10. Despite the running gags, the bizarre villains, the mad underlying story, there is still something great moving around under the skin. Don’t poke at it though. The Answer-Man grudgingly approves.

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