The Unexpected #1



Unexpected1-minPrinted “in the aftermath of Dark Knights: Metal” and apparently described by Steve Orlando “as Seven Samurai meets The Dark Tower”, this twenty-page “manhunt ranging from Thanagar to the deepest heart of the Dark Multiverse” most assuredly lived up to its title when it first saw print in June 2018, by spectacularly killing off two of the series’ central cast members at the end of the magazine. Indeed, it was probably hard for this periodical’s 28,028 strong audience to recall a more blood-thirsty opening for a brand new book as the “malevolent” Bad Samaritan first dissolves Viking Judge’s left arm, then partially lops off one of Ascendant’s feet, and finally incinerates the super-heroic pair (along with himself) by foolishly attempting to cut Firebrand’s heart out using Turid Goldenaxe’s double-bladed weapon.

Admittedly, such sense-shattering shenanigans do help make the GLAAD Media Award-nominee’s narrative for Issue One of “The Unexpected” an increasingly gripping read, especially when Alden Quench proves himself to be so formidable a villain that he conclusively bests Neon the Unknown, as well as the element-molder’s fellow super-powered team-members, one-on-one within the space of a handful of action-packed panels. But even so, the fact that the high-crowned hat wearing “citizen… who has walked between the multiverse raindrops” causes two such viciously savage murders at this comic’s conclusion proves substantially shocking, not least of all to Colin Nomi’s alter-ego, who despite his scarred blindness still realises that his friends are dead due to the fact he can “smell the burning flesh, the hair and hot metal… [but] I can’t hear them breathing… They’re dead… And I’m still here…”

Rather delightfully though, “Call Of The Unknown” doesn’t just simply focus upon this titanic tussle within the corridors and wards of a Veterans Affairs Hospital either, as the New Yorker’s script bravely attempts to start making good on his pre-publication promise to unify “the DCU” by “pulling together a lot of different stories… [and] picking up on the massive architecture of things like Final Crisis.” Such a huge task was never going to be achieved within the space of a single book, no matter how ably pencilled by Ryan Sook and Cary Nord, yet Orlando makes a seemingly suitable start by providing plenty of exposition and focus upon former dead paramedic Janet Fals, and her miraculous resurrection, courtesy of the Conflict Engine, as the fiery fist-fighter Firebrand.

This article is the opinion of the author and does not represent the views of the site owner.


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For the past forty or so years I have been collecting American comics… To begin with they were predominantly black and white British reprints of “Marvel Comics Group” titles such as “Spider-Man Comics Weekly”, “The Mighty World of Marvel” and “Star Wars Weekly”; all six to ten pence editions I could store away under my bed in a large cardboard box. As a result though I was introduced to the teenage angst of Peter Parker, the discovery of a frozen Captain America by Earth's Mightiest Heroes, witnessed the dreadful rage of Doctor Bruce Banner, and even travelled to a galaxy far far away... Later I would be able to afford actual America colour comic books and supplemented my collection of “Marvel” titles such as “Conan the Barbarian”, “Howard the Duck” and “Captain America” with some “DC Comics” issues of “Batman”, “Green Lantern” and “Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew”. There would even be time for Independent publications such as “Wildcats”, “Spawn” and “The Authority”. These days however I must admit to yearning back to the simpler times of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, back to when both artwork and storylines were straightforward, easy to follow and super-heroes were just starting out on their adventures. A time when no-one had yet to be resurrected from the dead for the fourth time. I've written over seven hundred comic book reviews on my blog over the past few years, with them usually following my latest purchases, all wrapped up in a large brown paper bag, as well as occasional ‘flashbacks’ to some of the classic "Golden Age" issues I already own…

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