The Unexpected #3



Unexpected3Despite containing an engaging history of Elligh, “the prince of an advanced society of creatures known as Orcks”, at the very start of this twenty-page periodical, Steve Orlando’s script for Issue Three of “The Unexpected” must have utterly bewildered its audience in August 2018 with its dialogue-heavy dabblings upon Blackhawk Island and subsequent sojourn to Siberia’s secretive Monster Valley. In fact, June Robbins baffling gobbledygook concerning “a machine whose only function was to signal loved ones when you passed” and brief recollection of the Chronokinetic disaster which “all but wiped the Orcks from time” is so cumbersomely penned that it arguably would have deterred many a perusing bibliophile from traversing deeper into this comic and accompanying Neon the Unknown into the dinosaur-infested “sunken refuge one mile deep where, impossibly, it is still the Cretaceous Period.”

Unhappily however, even Colin Nomi’s adventure in the ‘Land That Time Forgot’ is rather poorly plotted, with the “infamous Burnside artist” being inexplicably ambushed by the formidably powerful Onimar Synn himself. Just how the Thanagarian tyrant happened to locate the defender of the multiverse when the molecular manipulator’s location is supposedly “silent and unknown to even its monstrous guardians” is never explained by the GLAAD Media Award-nominee, and resultantly smacks of little more than a lazy contrivance rather than the cataclysmic confrontation this comic’s dynamic cover illustration would try to suggest.

Of course, no matter how disappointing the New Yorker’s writing may debatably be, it must still have been hard for this book’s followers not to enjoy the sense-shattering surprise of a giant Brontadon momentarily flattening Neon’s startled opponent under the large reptilian beast’s massive girth; “You sicced a dinosaur on him?” Yet even this ‘highlight’, timed to perfection as both the “blind leader” and Firebrand appear to have finally been bested, is soon overshadowed by Orlando’s obsession to over complicate matters by depicting Synn waxing lyrical about “the renovation of your corpse to the Necrophists” and bewildering request for a Necropsy-chariot in order to aid “two for astral sublimation!”

Potentially this book’s biggest strength is therefore in the artwork of Cary Nord, which whilst a little inconsistent in its portrayal of the Challenger, Robbins, undoubtedly captures the pulse-pounding fisticuffs which ensues following the Nth metal-hungry dictator’s revelation to this comic’s leading cast that his bones contain “thousands of fragile souls”. Packed full of the sort of punch one might expect from a publication featuring a character who must “start fights to stay alive” and another who controls “gravity itself”, the Canadian penciler’s panels fortunately bring all the majestic might of such a formidable contest to sense-shattering life.

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


Reviewed by
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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