Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Aztek: The Ultimate Man Trade Paperback Review

Aztek: The Ultimate Man
DC Comics
Softcover Trade Paperback
240 pages
$19.99 (2008)
ISBN 9781401216887

Contributors: Grant Morrison, Mark Millar, N. Steven Harris, Keith Champagne, Clem Robins, Chris Eliopoulos, Mike Danza, Ed Benes, Steve Lightle, Dave Johnson, Mike Wieringo, Norm Breyfogle,

Reprints: Aztek: The Ultimate Man #1-10 (of 10)

Synopsis: A mysterious stranger comes to Vanity City - the second-most corrupt, life-sucking city in America (after Gotham of course).  His mission is to stop the return of an ancient death-god, but first he must create a new life and camouflage himself among the masses.  The Q Foundation has trained him since childhood to become the perfect human and he wields an incredible armor with a four-dimensional power source including an ancient helmet worn by the god Quetzalcoatl.
Yeah, cool helmet

While his training prepared him to be the ultimate warrior it neglected to teach him about the outside world.  He fumbles through the most mundane social relationships and views the world in innocent, simplistic terms.  Witnessing a super-powered bank robbery and the subsequent foiling by a homicidal superhero, Aztek steps in with disastrous results.  He discovers the real world has a steep learning curve and he better wise up if his mission has any chance at succeeding.

His journey is spectacular as he meets heroes Batman and Green Lantern, fights villains including the Joker and his failed predecessor from the Q Foundation, learns the truth about his father's death, and joins the JLA. 

Pros: Morrison/Millar give us some interesting superhero situations, Harris does all of interior art - it's consistent

Cons: Art by Harris is mediocre, initial print run on this book had major misprinting errors with missing/repeated pages, series ends suddenly without any resolutions (due to cancellation), his feather wings are lame

Squaaawwkkk! It's a bird!

Mike Tells It Straight: Kind of a let-down.  Back when Morrison's JLA series was still being published I heard a lot of good things about this book.  When the collected edition came out I finally got a chance to investigate the hype.  Although the art is consistently terrible, the writing has it's moments if you can understand the read-between-the-lines superhero critique subtext.  We get a glimpse of potential greatness to come from this series, but then it's cut short and abruptly ended.  If you loved Aztek in JLA then you'll enjoy this book, but otherwise I would pass.


TO BUY and Recommendations: