Brave New World


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Brave New World


  • Words: Tony Bedard, et al
  • Art: Ariel Olivetti, et al
  • Inks: Walden Wong, Bit, et al
  • Colors: Nestor Pereyra, et al
  • Story Title: N/A
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Price: $1.00
  • Release Date: Jun 28, 2006

New heroes are born, old heroes are transformed, and torches and legacies are passed. The world is saved and imperiled yet again in turn after turn. This is Brave New World.

In the grand old tradition of DC’s 80 Page Giant comics comes Brave New World. This title, though, is geared for a new age and with a new purpose behind its creation. This $1.00 comic contains six stories related to six soon-to-be-released new ongoing or miniseries comics. These stories are designed to hook new readers, draw them in, and convince them to pick up some (or all) of these new titles. So how do they break down?

First up is writer A.J. Lieberman’s new look at Martian Manhunter. In this short story, J’onn J’onzz must face that a truth he has long held self-evident may not be so at all. This forces him to rethink his life and pushes him in a new direction. Lieberman’s Martian Manhunter gets an edge here that has not been seen in the character in a long time, if ever. There is an apparent drastic personality change but it is hard to tell from this short whether there is a solid reason given. Unfortunately, this first installment is a bit confusing; leaving the reader unsure what exactly is happening much of the time. Al Barrionuevo handles the pencils and does little to clarify the story. There are odd angles used, somewhat disorienting points of view, and quick cuts that all require a second and even third look to understand what is taking place.

Next is Bruce Jones’ OMAC. Despite the fact that the Brother Eye satellite and all of the OMACs were supposedly taken care of by the end of Infinite Crisis, Mike Costner wakes up with no memory of who he is on the run from heroes, villains, and OMACs alike. His only ally is a beautiful, mysterious woman named Vienna. All is not what it seems, though, and Mike may be a lot more and a lot less than what he appears. Some of Bruce Jones’ dialogue here is clunky and awkward but there are also several places where it really works well. The story is fairly complete and accomplishes its goal of giving the reader a feel for what this miniseries will be like. The real standout on this story, however, is the beautiful art and color work of Renato Guedes. He does wonderful work with light and his action sequences are detailed and dynamic.

Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters follows, with words by the team of Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti. This story lays the groundwork for a miniseries that is going to take some hard looks at corruption, power (political and metahuman), ideals and wild science fiction. Daniel Acuña’s artwork is fascinating with an almost computer-generated realism look. The shame here is that a printing error makes the artwork extremely dark and murky.

Steve Niles’ Creeper story "TV Eye on Me" is another good example of a tale that accomplishes its purpose – it reads as a short, but complete story, and it does a terrific job at introducing readers to the main characters and situations. Niles takes a bit of the original Steve Ditko Creeper and mixes it with some new ideas and the result is something fun, fascinating, and interesting. Justiniano on pencils is a perfect fit as well and it is rewarding to see that his work is as good as it was on the Day of Vengeance miniseries.

The second to last feature is writer Gail Simone and artist John Byrne’s All-New Atom. Simone has become a fan favorite for her mixture of action, humor, quirky characters and dialogue. She pulls out all the stops here for a fast-paced, complete, little adventure that packs an atom-ic punch. John Byrne’s artwork here is solid and he puts in a really nice level of detail all around.

Finally, there is Judd Winick and Howard Porter’s Trials of Shazam! The events of Infinite Crisis have led to a new reality for all the members of the Marvel Family and here Winick gives a solid view of what readers can expect to see in the future. The story is interesting and draws the reader in but it is Howard Porter’s art that really sells this. Although Porter’s work looks a little off in a couple of places, for the most part it has a lush, romantic look.

It should not go without saying, that there is also an opening and closing framing sequence for the issue, written by Tony Bedard with art from Ariel Olivetti. Some sharp-eyed, long-time DC fans had already spotted something familiar about the shadowy figure on the cover, but the framing sequence still provides an unexpected twist – just what this means and how it will fit into the larger DCU is unknown.

So there you have it – a sampler platter of six stories from six titles – all in color for $1.00. It does provide a nice bit of entertainment for being an advertisement and it does give the reader a feel for what is coming soon from DC Comics. It is indeed a Brave New World and this is just a taste of what is to come.

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