So far DC Comics has unveiled their new heroes with a consistency that has kept the interest up. We have yet to know if the heroes are connected to each other, but we do know they’re all coming out of Dark Nights: Metal. This latest series is the first to unveil the ancient heroes hyped at NYCC with a boy in high school at its core, which will undoubtedly make this relatable to a younger crowd.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
“THE END OF FOREVER” part one! There is a secret history to the DC Universe of heroes who have protected humanity from the shadows since the dawn of time…and who can live forever. Enter the Immortal Men! The team, headed by the Immortal Man, has waged a secret war against the House of Conquest for countless years–but Conquest has dealt a devastating blow. When their base of operations, known as the Campus, is savagely attacked, the Immortal Men must seek out their last hope–an emerging metahuman known as Caden Park! Caden’s emerging powers may be able to ensure the Immortal Men’s survival–but will Conquest get to him first?
Why does this matter?
This issue is the first of the “New Age of Heroes” that suggests heroes have lived among us for millennia. It was a concept hyped early on when DC first unveiled this push for new heroes, and it’s exciting to see it begin here.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Dream a little dream.
This is one of those comics you need to reread after you’ve finished. The opening comes off as somewhat cryptic, which makes sense since it’s delving into the protagonist’s dreams. At first glance, we’re not sure what to believe, but by the end, you’ll be more than certain you’ll want to dive back into that opening dream. The story is all about Caden Park, a high school kid with a healthy life except for these weird dreams. As his psychologist puts it, “You’re trying to make an overactive imagination sound like a superpower.” That’s a compelling statement (and power) that drives your interest as we attempt to figure out what is going on.
As the story progresses storytellers Jim Lee, James Tynion IV, and Ryan Benjamin introduce a variety of brand new heroes and, presumably, villains. You’re never quite certain what these characters are fighting for, but the creators do a good job making these characters seem unique and interesting. It’s clear these characters are some mysterious race, but as it stands it’s not clear why they’ve hidden and what their deal is, though there are hints.
The art by Lee and Benjamin give this book a ’90s vibe between the character designs and the appropriate use of splash pages. It appears as though Lee drew all the Immortal Men scenes and Benjamin focused on the scenes with Caden, which you can tell by Lee’s style. The two artists jive well, and it’s never distractingly different in style.
Is that a green The Shadow?
It can’t be perfect can it?
This is one of those books that’s filled with mysteries which may drive some nuts. It’s hard to say what the stakes are which makes it slightly challenging to care about what is going on, but if you’re on board for new heroes in the DC universe that’s probably reason enough.
The story could have used more in regards to developing Caden. As it stands, he’s your typical kid in high school who gets good grades, but the calling of the Immortal Men in his dreams is what gives him any uniqueness at all.
Is it good?
This issue establishes a sense of the world and its characters in a chase to save a boy who has incredible powers. It hasn’t yet sold me yet, but I’m curious to see how these ancient powered heroes develop and, eventually, join the DCU.