The Unexpected #1
The New Age of Heroes books have kicked off with very little buildup. That makes for a more exciting opening arc as they don’t follow the traditional drawn out origin. But there’s something to be said for the old school introduction of characters especially for a new team book. The Unexpected focuses on Firebrand, who readers first met in the Action Comics Special.
Firebrand’s workplace is crashed by an alien working for two characters familiar to Justice Society and Final Crisis readers. Writer Steve Orlando chooses two strong villains for his initial arc and the threat of a third ensures The Unexpected will have some tough opposition in the future.
Maybe the biggest problem with this issue is that The Unexpected follows a little too closely to the plot of The Immortal Men. A character finds themselves thrown in the middle of a conflict between a super powered team and a very powerful adversary. The new character is lost as the group expects the character to quickly catch up and go along with the plan. It doesn’t work as well here as Orlando makes the character rollout confusing with names, code names and nicknames used for each character.
Cary Nord and Ryan Sook handle the artwork, which ranges in quality. It’s mostly solid, but a few pages are less detailed and defined. FCO Plasencia’s colors seem a bit too bright for this story, which would probably benefit from darker ink work from Mick Gray and Wade von Grawbadger.
I think there’s some potential here and a mid-issue twist shows that Orlando takes the title of the book seriously. This wasn’t the strongest debut of the New Age of Heroes titles, but I’m curious to see where he takes the series over the next few issues.
Rating: 6 out of 10
Photo Credit: DC Comics