The Immortal Men: The End of Forever by James Tynion IV

details
Title: The Immortal Men.
Story-Arc: The End of Forever.
Volume: 1.
Writer(s): James Tynion IV.
Illustrator(s): Jim Lee, Ryan Benjamin & Tyler Kirkham.
Colourist(s): Alex Sinclair, Jeremiah Skipper, David Baron & Arif Prianto.
Publisher: DC Comics.
Format: Paperback.
Release Date: December 4th 2018.
Pages: 144.
Genre(s): Comics, Science-Fiction.
ISBN13: 9781401283308.
My Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆.

thoughts

Spilling out of the events of Dark Nights: Metal, DC unleashes the New Age of Heroes with the introduction of half a dozen new comic book series serving as an introduction to new and old heroes. With the intention to fill in the gap in DC’s repertoire and to offer artists the chance to shine over the writers, these stories look to bring out some new uncharted territory to fully exploit and further expand the DC Universe. Of all the creative teams that have been given this shining opportunity to work their imagination, The Immortal Men is the series that had my curiosity piqued the most with James Tynion IV and Jim Lee working on the same project. However, the previous series so far have all proven to fail in their sale’s pitch by offering characters and stories that show great resemblances to some of Marvel’s most iconic heroes. With Damage being the Hulk, the Silencer being the Punisher, the Terrifics being the Fantastic Four and Sideways being Spider-Man, the greatest mystery now is to figure out if The Immortal Men will continue this unfortunate trend.

What is The Immortal Men: The End of Forever about? The story introduces us to Caden Park, a teenage boy who can’t stop having odd dream sequences where he happens to be the hero of a secret war. Unfortunately for him, things are much more complicated than he could have ever imagined when he discovers that he is the key to the survival of the Immortal Men, a group of metahumans who have the honor and task to protect and fight over humanity’s destiny against the evil Infinite Woman. As Caden Parker slowly discovers that this war has been ongoing since time immemorial, he also finds out that he has the ability to read people’s minds with a single touch. Collecting issues #1-6, The Immortal Men: The End of Forever introduces to the DC Universe a whole network of heroes and villains waging war right under the noses of our favourite universe.

Untitled

The upside to this series is that it isn’t a blatant rip-off of anything in particular. If I wanted to really stretch it, I’d have drawn some similarities to the X-Men with the whole idea of individuals with powers and secret wars meant to be hidden from mankind. However, it doesn’t exactly venture too far into that ugly game and actually looks to establish a heavy and verbose story where brand new lore elements are introduced without any filters whatsoever. In fact, with James Tynion IV’s tendency to be wordy in all of his dialogues—this was no surprise—but it does get difficult to follow at times as a lot of the speech bubbles is focused on world-building, almost to the extent of it all being info-dumped on the reader. It also doesn’t particularly help when there isn’t that much time spent on each newly-introduced hero to help readers relate and care for them. However, with Immortal Man and his superhuman strength and telekinetic powers, Reload with his unlimited ammunition thanks to his ability to subtract time from an object, Ghost Fist who can draw out green lightning from his fingers, Timber who can grow in size and Stray who transforms into a ferocious giant humanoid cat-creature when angry, it’s safe to say that the group is quite eccentric and wild.

This series is however quite interesting with its connection to the infamous Nth metal and all of its world-building around the Immortal Houses (Action, Conquest, Expression, Wisdom and Harmony) but it packs way too much into one volume to be able to truly grab the readers attention. It also doesn’t help when the artwork continues to be shared between multiple artists after teasing the reader with the best one, Jim Lee, for the first couple issues. The marketing strategy behind this is saddening, but it is worth knowing that the other illustrators on this team aren’t bad at all and manage to maintain the explosive and colourful artwork of Jim Lee. To go with the heavy dialogue it is also worth noticing that the panels are purposely huge on each page, often verging closer to splash pages that let the artists draw to their heart’s content.

Coincidentally, recent news have announced that another series under the New Age of Heroes label has been cancelled: The Curse of Brimstone. Unfortunately, The Immortal Men is also a series that was cancelled a while back alongside Sideways. The lack of popularity for these series have freed up a couple of writers and artists and there wouldn’t be too much surprise if the rest of these series under the same umbrella fall like their comrades in the near future.

The Immortal Men: The End of Forever is the introduction to the DC Universe’s secret history in a razzle-dazzle, rowdy and wordy fashion.


EXHIBITA

 

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Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for sending me a copy for review!

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17 comments

  • ♪Another one bites the dust♪
    ♪Another one bites the dust♪
    ♪And another one gone, and another one gone♪
    ♪Another one bites the dust♪
    ♪Another one bites the dust♪

    Yeah, I think that song really seems to sum up this attempt by DC to branch out. It’s not just DC though. I remember when Fantastic Four was cancelled. I was shocked, as that had been running longer than my life. But when authors and artists aren’t good enough to create new stories that engage the readers, well, cancellations happen. I wonder if we’ll be seeing more and more cancellations as companies pull back to core characters that are now more movie related.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahahaah it was really inevitable, wasn’t it? I have to admit that I’m slightly happy that some of these are getting cancelled since all they do is harm DC’s reputation more than anything, but with the little number of folks who pick them up or even know about them, I guess it’s not such a big deal. As long as the canon series continue strong and that the DC events within the universe continue to be original and not downright ridiculous, things should be fine.

      Liked by 1 person

  • It’s sad when they overdo it. Authors do that also. They think that they need to put the entire story into a single book. Ugh.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Sigh. Too much information/detail in the storyline and all the different artists? This seems like a flop which is waiting to happen. I wonder why DC is going down this path. I don’t know anything about the marketing strategy. Are they trying something new and different? With all these series being canceled, it’s hard to imagine DC will keep their footing here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This whole expansion known as “The New Age of Heroes” is nothing more than just that… an expansion. It’s essentially an attempt at tossing “things” at the wall and seeing if anything sticks. I dislike how the writer and 1st main illustrator are super talented people, but then the artist disappears for the later issues. Feels like a betrayal to me. 😛 At least they aren’t forcing themselves to continue some of these lackluster series. And if they ever want to re-use some of the new characters in canonical series, they’ll at least have the first volumes available for fans to check out. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m certain they WILL reuse some of these characters for canonical series in the future. You’re right – they are waiting to see what sticks with their readers before digging in further. Honestly, it’s a pretty smart way to get customer feedback quickly in a comic world; in terms of characters, writers, artists, and colorists! However, for me this is too much too fast. It’s definitely turning me off of DC comics.

        Liked by 1 person

  • Well, definitely another one for me to avoid – I may have been tempted if Jim Lee had pencilled all six issues and I do like Tynion as a writer but…nah, especially if these titles are going the way of the Marvel Netflix shows (ouch).

    Great review though sir, I admire your commitment in sampling all of these ‘New Age of Heroes’ volumes and you make a very apt point about the way they’ve been marketed by attaching a superstar DC artist – who happens only abandon the project rather quickly!

    Speaking of Jim Lee, I’d love to see another Batman/Superman/Justice League arc/mini series drawn by him – it’s been too long (although he did do that first arc of the Suicide Squad Rebirth series)!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahahahah yep. Just like those Netflix Marvel shows! 😀 I too am quite fond of Tynion’s and Lee’s work in general, but man, what this series offers is just unfortunate. It really feels like I was sold a false product…

      It would indeed be pretty cool if Jim Lee had some kind of surprise project in the works right now. He’s probably pretty busy in the whole business sphere of DC Comics however hahah

      Like

  • Yeah that is an unfortunate trend for DC to copy so many of marvels characters :/ It’s good that this wasn’t such a blatant rip off, though it’s a shame it packed too much into one volume and that it struggles to help readers care for the characters. It doesn’t sound too surprising that the series was cancelled. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

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