Fusion #1 Review

FUSION001_interiors_Page_01It’s been a while since the comics biz had had a good x-over. In the 90s we couldn’t get enough of them. Batman teamed up with everyone. Spider-Man teamed up with everyone. Punisher and Archie teamed up with each other.

Now the concept is back. In grand fashion. Two teams from Marvel and two teams from Top Cow in the same book is a great way to start. Of course, Top Cow artists have been doing cover and interior work for the House of Ideas recently, so this is no big stretch. Fusion debuts spectacularly, with plenty of cool costumes and powers to please any fan of superheroes. This issue primarily focuses on the Mighty Avengers and Ripclaw, but with two more issues to come, the balance should be restored.

It begins with a lone man named Ellis (from Hunter-Killer) sitting at the ancestral home of Ripclaw (from Cyberforce) before taking us to the Quinjet where we meet the Mighty Avengers, who in this time frame, have only been together for a week. Setting this between Civil War and Dark Reign was a smart move on the part of frequent writing partners Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning. Out of the four teams in this series, The Avengers have the most complicated recent history. They wisely steer away from assuming readers are familiar with the happenings of this assortment of characters, and the two page intro for each costumed character is a welcome aid.

In the Quinjet, where the word “celebritard” is introduced, Wonder Man, Ms. Marvel, Wasp and Black Widow of the Mighty Avengers get attacked by a mad Ripclaw before leading them to an investigation focused on the who and why.

Not much happens in this issue, but it’s impressive that for a series that will contain over 20 characters, this first ish isn’t complicated or overbearing. Abnett and Lanning keep things simple. After the fight with Ripclaw, the Thunderbolts watch the aftermath from a distance, before attacking Ripclaw after another Hulk-out. Then the Mighty Avengers venture to a lighthouse that isn’t what it appears to be before seeing Ripclaw again. I can only assume that there’s more than one crazy Ripclaw out there, due to the absence of time and place transitions, and I guess the Hunter/Killer crew is involved in that.

As is to be expected, the fighting begins right away as the heroes – or at least Ripclaw, isn’t his usual self. Perhaps the two of the teams will join up and fight the other two, or all four teams will become allies and take the battle to a new enemy.

The book looks suitably fast paced and daring. Tyler Kirkham’s style may have early “Image house style” written all over it, but it works, and the use of three different inkers doesn’t show. There’s also no desperate attempt at trying to explain away how these teams meet through a parallel universe or some such, so ths story can focus on lots more pummelling. For fans of any of these teams, or those who know none of them, this superhero smorgasbord is a good entry into two vibrant companies properties.

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Sherlock, Soulfire & Daredevil

Over at the new, and very spiffy, Broken Frontier my interview with writers Leah Moore and John Reppion over their new Sherlock Holmes series is up. As is my interview with writer Alexander Irvine about his Daredevil Noir. Lastly, my review of Soulfire: New World Order #1 is also at BF, and you can also check out a nifty commentary of that very issue with artist JT Krul.

Soulfire NWO

Two Surrogates Trailers

I actually picked up The Surrogates TPB at the Top Shelf booth at Comic-Con last year. I’d heard good things about its sci-fi tale, with a philosophical bent, and I wasn’t disappointed. It’s also a perfect gateway book for comic book newbies. The prequel to the tale, Flesh and Bone from the same talented creators (writer Robert Venditti and artist Brett Weldele) is out in July. One of the great things about the first series was the fact that it totally immersed the reader in its believable world. A world where most people are reliant on living their lives via robotic avatars. Wisely littered throughout the book are realistically crafted adverts for the modern surrogate user. The trailer for the prequel is below.

Coming soon is a film based on the original mini-series. Starring Bruce Willis and Radha Mitchell it opens on September 25 and is directed by Jonathan Mostow (the excellent Breakdown, U-571 and Terminator 3:Rise of the Machines). Below is a brief look at the film’s production.