Writer(s): Steve Orlando.
Penciller(s): Ronan Cliquet, Cary Nord, Yvel Guichet & Ryan Sook.
Inker(s): Ronan Cliquet, Wade von Grawbadger, Mick Gray, Mark Farmer & Scott Hanna.
Colourist(s): Jeromy Cox & FCO Plascencia.
Letterer(s): Carlos M. Mangual & Travis Lanham.
Publisher: DC Comics.
Release Date: March 5th 2019.
Genre(s): Comics, Science-Fiction.
My Overall Rating: ★★☆☆☆.
It has been a wild ride for DC Comics’ The New Age of Heroes line-up as its turbulent and rocky ride has not garnered much praise and barely found a niche of readers to please in the past months. As each series slowly got axed and quickly drew to an end with only a second volume for a couple of series to come out later in the year, it’s safe to say that the quality of these series was always questionable. From series that showed without any shame great resemblances to heroes within Marvel’s playground to series that reintroduced new and old heroes within a post-Metal era, there was always something that didn’t work or simply couldn’t work alongside canonical ongoing series that have a larger fanbase supporting them. Following the aftermath of DC’s latest cosmic event in Dark Nights: Metal, new threats arise from the dark multiverse and challenge the brave into putting a stop to the madness. Collecting issues #1-8, The Unexpected: Call of the Unknown is the last series part of The New Age of Heroes that was canceled and looks to heavily draw upon Scott Snyder’s lore established within Metal.
What is The Unexpected: Call of the Unknown about? The story focuses on four new heroes who are introduced as the ultimate solution to protecting their adopted homeworld of the end of times although their hate for each other is fueled with rage and conflict. Although some of these heroes are existing heroes that were long forgotten and now reimagined in this brand new series, the story brings them to run into established C-class heroes within Gotham as well as the iconic hero Hawkman. Only their common goal to stop an unstable isotope of the mysterious Nth metal brings them to listen to another and stop the evil forces at work who seek destruction amidst the chaos. This volume that spins off directly out of the Metal event looks to further develop elements of the dark multiverse and delivers an action-packed adventure for fans to pick up.
Nothing about this volume turned out alluring in any shape or form. Its lack of focus and messy direction ultimately leads it to fall into its own trap and suffer a miserable death. The creative team behind this series couldn’t have found a way to turn this series around as the story completely flies above the head of the reader right at the first issue. With its lore heavily centered around elements from the Metal event, the story struggles to capture the attention of the reader and doesn’t ever look to slow down to give us a moment to breathe and digest the information. By the halfway mark, the only important element that is left for the reader to hold onto is a notion of good versus evil that is delivered through a theme of creation versus destruction. It doesn’t help when there a lot of plot holes that leave the reader clueless about how some things are even possible and how some things are even necessary.
It also doesn’t help when the volume introduces four new characters and half of them doesn’t survive the ride. While they seemed intriguing at first, they quickly become irrelevant in the grander scheme of things as they only serve as tools to deliver meaningless action sequences with no imaginative barrier. With some of there powers, absolutely anything was possible, making what was already a messy story even messier and lost in its own ideas. The artwork is average at best and further accentuates the disaster that is the plot. With vibrant colours that cover the whole spectrum and artwork focused on delivering bombastic sequences, there’s only violence left and right. This is a prime example of a story that doesn’t care about character development and that solely looks to play around with multiple concepts without any structure.
The Unexpected: Call of the Unknown is an expected action-packed disappointment that loses itself in its focus on Metal-related lore whilst forgetting the importance of introducing new heroes for readers to connect with in its messy story arc.
Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for sending me a copy for review!