14 Nov 2012

Wednesday New Comic Day - Hypernaturals

I'm sitting in class listening to the Prof go on about the sole Shakespeare play I'm not going to pay attention to, Antony and Cleopatra.

So I log onto my ComiXology app on the iPad and look for something to grasp my attention. After reading the most recent Green Lantern (which was pretty good) I looked up an old name.

Dan Abnett.

This is one of the best sci-fi writers of the day. He started his own comic book and it gets published by Boom! studios with his frequent partner in crime Andy Lanning.

The book is called the Hypernaturals

Dan Abnett is famous for some of his comic work, but also for his work writing the various series of novels for Games Workshop. His Gaunt's Ghost series of books are brilliant and worth every fucking dollar. It's hard to find hard boiled sci-fi military pros done so well. The setting, characters, plot and fantasy aspects get equal amounts of time and work. Dan Abnett proves each time that he's become a master in his craft and he's only getting better.

Most recently he teamed up with Andy Lanning and they were given full rein of the 'space' books for Marvel comics. Silver Surfer, Guardians of the Galaxy, Nova, the list goes on. They ran various major story arcs that garnered lots of positive attention to a part of the Marvel library that has never had the chance to really shine since the return to more grounded stories and a focus on avoiding 'space' which really has been abused in the last two decades and has never been as strong as DC's space ventures.

The two of them proved right there and then over the course of almost four years that Marvel has a strong space setting and it was under used in recent years. Annihilation, War of Kings and the Thanos Imperative were huge events and readers began to flock back to the Marvel books not located on Earth. It was the same return to the fantastic that followed the return of the Green Lantern Corps and Hal Jorden.

They and Marvel are on good terms, and the two of them still write for them under contract but they longed to write the book they wanted to write. That book is the Hypernaturals.

The Hypernaturals is post 'singularity', the point in time where the theoretical emergence of greater-than-human superintelligence through technological means. The Q, the AI that now acts as the glue in the setting of Hypernaturals is also the center point for the major advances of the world; such as instant teleportation for mass transit through space, communications and information services. The Hypernaturals are a 'government' superteam that acts as a Tier One response team with abilities, aka 'super powers', outside of a certain level of human ability. The first three issues have the first page dedicated as an advert for the Hypernaturals and deems that if you have a Hyper ability beyond 'level 3', you could qualify for admission into the team.

Whew... that's a lot of setting. Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning do a better job then me and that's why the comic is great.

The main crux of the story is the current team is MIA (Missing in Action), former/retired members and rookie probationary members are called into action in order to investigate and combat the threat that killed a few billon people and lost the primary Hypernatural team.

The characters are archetypical; Smart Guy, Energy Manipulator, Bruiser, Speedster, and Tech user. DnA (Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning) hit all the right notes. Archetypical does not always equate 'bad' or lacking originality. It's simply stating a common point of reference when regarding the characters placement in the story and with each other.Each of the Characters have the archetypical feel but are otherwise unique and fresh in how they are used. Theis allows the writers to focus on the story, which picks up at a fast pace, to be on the development of the relationships, setting and the conflict of the comic book.

The art is well done, nothing fancy but credit has to be given to visualize the futuristic setting without relying on more common images. Each panel has original visual ideas on the future and it's refreshing.

Refreshing seems to be the theme of the day with this post and I'm trying not to overuse the term but DnA is simply that refreshing. Yet that's not the whole point, the story is well developed and smartly composed. The colors and line is done with a competent style that is unique. The book itself is great but in a ocean of competence the creativity is refreshing and very much rewarding. DnA are worth your time.

The book gets a score of 5. I am chomping at the bit for the next issue and I just want more. I say get this book and get lost in the common themes being used in a new ways.