Sunday, December 4, 2011

Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. Vol. 1 This is What They Want Hardcover Review

Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. Vol. 1 - This is What They Want
Marvel Comics
144 pages
$19.99 (2006)
$14.99 (2007) TPB
$34.99 (2010) Ultimate Collection
ISBN 9780785122784

Contributors: Warren Ellis, Stuart Immonen, Wade Von Grawbadger, Dave McCaig, and Chris Eliopoulos

Reprints: Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. #1-6 (of 12)

Synopsis: Before going rogue the Nextwave unit worked for the Highest Anti-Terrorism Effort (H.A.T.E.), a covert anti-terrorist organization.  They discovered a marketing plan from the Beyond Corporation, who happen to be the new financial backers of H.A.T.E. and a known terrorist front.  Beyond plan to use H.A.T.E. and Nextwave to test Unusual Weapons of Mass Destruction (UWMDs) on American soil and then sell them to the highest bidder for a profit.

Now the Nextwave are being hunted by their former boss and director of H.A.T.E., Dirk Anger.  Nextwave group consists of:
    They will kick you in the naugthy bits
  • Elsa Bloodstone - monster hunting daughter of Ulysses Bloodstone, possesses ample cleavage, haughty European attitude, enhanced strength and agility
  • Monica Rambeau aka "Captain Marvel" or "Photon" - formerly of the Avengers, energy-based powers based on light, conversion to photons, lasers, and light beams
  • Aaron Stack aka "Machine Man" - sentient machine, can alter his body to produce useful tools or weapons, requires copious amounts of beer for his robot brain to function properly (or so he says)
  • Dirk Anger - director of H.A.T.E., looks forty, but is really 90-year-old sociopath kept alive by life-extending drugs and a bad attitude, chews lizard boom sticks, he's not part of the team - he just wants to kill them
  • Tabitha Smith aka "Boom Boom" or "Meltdown" - formerly of X-Force, powers include creating streams of super-heated plasma energy with extreme destructive force and allowing her to fly, kleptomaniac
  • The Captain - received the "Heartstar of the Space Between Galaxies" from a pair of altruistic aliens while on a drunken bender, can't remember his own name, incredibly powerful with super-strength, flight, and enhanced vision
Can they stop Beyond's evil plans and stay one step ahead of Dirk Anger's wrath?  It's samuroids, giant flying lizards wearing underpants, broccoli men, homicide crabs, and widdle cuddly bears of death - oh my!

Pros: Top notch irreverent humor by Ellis, Immonen's art is solid, action-packed with good use of lesser-known D-list heroes & villains, great parody of Marvel (i.e. Dirk Anger is a spoof of Nick Fury and totally hilarious)

Cons: No explanations or legitimate story to speak of - just action, minimalist dialogue by Ellis - he makes all of the characters sound British, Immonen's art is highly stylized in this one, over-the-top

Mike Tells It Straight: Ellis and Immonen craft a funny satire piece on the Marvel universe filled with non-stop action and self-mockery.  It's pretty much all action, sarcasm (turned up to 11), jokes, and nothing much in the way of story (i.e. all flash and no substance).  The first few issues were hilarious, but then the goofiness started getting a little old by the end of issue #6.  This could be Ellis at his best or worst depending on your point of view.  Check out a preview if you can and you'll get the picture. 

"Love it or hate it, it's an obsession, love it or hate it, that's my confession."

TO BUY and Recommendations: