The Unexpected: Call of the Unknown by Steve Orlando

details
Title: The Unexpected: Call of the Unknown.
Writer(s): Steve Orlando.
Penciller(s)Ronan CliquetCary NordYvel GuichetRyan Sook.
Inker(s): Ronan CliquetWade von GrawbadgerMick Gray, Mark FarmerScott Hanna.
Colourist(s): Jeromy Cox & FCO Plascencia.
Letterer(s): Carlos M. Mangual & Travis Lanham.
Publisher: DC Comics.
Format: Paperback.
Release Date: March 5th 2019.
Pages: 184.
Genre(s): Comics, Science-Fiction.
ISBN13: 9781401283513.
My Overall Rating: ★★☆☆☆.

thoughts

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.

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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.


EXHIBITA

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

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31 comments

    • I was hopeful at first until I realized where things were headed. It remains to be seen if I’ll dare read the couple of volume 2s that are going to be released for the other series that got axed.

      Hahahah thank you, sir! I appreciate the kind words. I don’t often take pictures of myself, so when someone does, I’ll jump on it. 😛

      Liked by 1 person

    • No worries. I saw this coming hahahah

      Yes, I have! It’s an ambitious move, one that no one really asked for, but everything goes with DC and I’m down to try it out. It really does look like fun! 😀

      Have you seen the Joker trailer that came out today? That is one my most anticipated movies of all time and it looks AMAZING.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I liked what I saw for Alfred too. I’m a little worried of a 007 copy, but will definitely give it a chance.

        And yes! That Joker looks very very interesting. I’m looking forward to a new interpretation.

        Liked by 1 person

  • Hmm…well, this one is certainly one I’m going to avoid. That’s for sure. Too bad though, as the premise honestly did sound slightly intriguing😊
    Also agree with the comments above: cool new picture! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Every series within the “New Age of Heroes” line-up did sound slightly intriguing but mostly flopped. I wouldn’t buy these (maybe pick it up at a library or something) but since they all basically got axed, there’s no real reason to invest time into them.

      Thanks for the kind words, sir! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  • I enjoyed Metal, though not as much as you (obviously :P) This however seems like a further confirmation that something’s rotten in the state of DC.. Hope they’ll get out of the ditch they sent themselves into, I’d hate to see them flounder much longer. Not to say all’s shiny on the other side of the street, I have a feeling that with the surprising hype around the cinematic universe both Marvel and DC decided to put quantity above quality in vain hope one would seamlessly transform into the other 😉
    Cool photo! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahahaha I feel like you’ve attributed a DC bias on me and my reviews now 😂 I can be critical and bash some of their work and my love for certain stories is at the right level, never too abundant! 😂 But yes, this whole New Age of Heroes line-up is necessary. But if you’re up to date with the Metal event, you should check out Snyder’s ongoing Justice League run. That’s the right continuation of the event, if anything 😂

      Have you seen the movie trailer for Joker? My hopes and expectations are soooo high for it. 😍 And thank you for the kind words hahah

      Liked by 1 person

      • YEEESSS! Mission accomplished! 😂
        I might go for Snyder’s Justice League, thanks for the tip 😀
        And the Joker trailer looks soooo GOOD! I’m partial to Phoenix, but I also love the whole 1970s’ vibe, and the fact they’re going along with The Killing Joke story arc is very promising 😍

        Liked by 1 person

        • I knoooow, right? I do hope that it won’t be bashed by critics who don’t want to appreciate anything that doesn’t have a Marvel-formula to it. You might have to lower those Killing Joke expectations since there’s likely no Batman/Gordon/Barbara in it. I’m still open to its new adaptation. It might be what we didn’t know we needed. 😀

          By the way, I saw Shazam! and it definitely blew by my extremely low expectations! It’s a wonderful family-friendly movie based on Geoff John’s Shazam story arc! I’d be curious to hear what you think of it if you ever decide to try it. 😉

          Liked by 1 person

          • Oh, I know it won’t be a direct adaptation – I rather thought of the mood and construction of the story; the trailer exudes a strong Moore vibe for me 😉

            Huh, I already watched it 😛 It was okay, but not mind-blowing in any way. I was kind of put off by the discord between the very simplified approach to the family question (I recently re-watched Free Willy, and it still hold up really well!) and intense scenes of violence, completely out of sync with the rest of the family-friendliness. Still, it was enjoyable 😉

            Liked by 1 person

            • Oh yes, it was super odd in balancing its comedy with its horror elements hahah I think having lowered my expectations helped a lot in appreciating its “refreshing” take. It doesn’t reinvent the whole “family/belonging” theme but at least, I found, it does it well. The villain wasn’t impressive at all either but he served his purpose hahah

              Liked by 1 person

  • I’m sorry to hear that this was such a let down! I always really struggle to get into a story when action is prioritised to the detriment of character development. It always confuses me because ultimately the reason you care about the action is because you care about the characters, right? You can’t have one without the other.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re definitely right there. And it’s worse when it’s brand-new characters. I could understand a world-building and action-oriented story with characters we already know, but this was a story that was off its tracks and didn’t know where it wanted to go.

      Liked by 1 person

  • Crikey, I thought there weren’t anymore of these left – undoubtedly on the whole a painful experience for you Lashaan. It’s always disappointing to invest so much time into something that in the end isn’t worthwhile but I do admire your commitment in staying the course in the hope of something better.

    I do think it’s a shame DC couldn’t have had a firmer approach to these New Age of Heroes titles, it seems the problem is that there were just too many of them and they were all rushed out so quickly to cash-in on the success of Metal. There’s also the fact, as you’ve pointed out, the characters are just not that interesting and essentially variations of some of Marvel’s most iconic heroes (If you didn’t know, you’d be mistaken for thinking that was Doctor Strange on the cover). Ah well, maybe the Batman Who Laughs will make up for it all?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I honestly don’t know what pushed me to even want to check out this line-up or to pursue it after the first 2 series that showed signs of plagiarism and zero originality… There’s still a couple of volume 2s (the last one for those series) but I don’t think I’ll be trying them out. If I ever feel like wasting my time, I’ll maybe take a peek.. Ha!

      It actually sort of reminds me of how things went with Convergence. The amount of spin-off one-shots that came from that was incredible. Especially when Convergence was an event that many did not enjoy. DC definitely has a cash-grab formula that they just don’t know how to stop using. I do wish they stopped that.

      I definitely look forward to Batman Who Laughs. Anything with Snyder/King/Tynion IV/Geoff Johns/Morrison (sometimes hahah) saves me from depression! 😀

      Like

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