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Nextwave, Agents Of H.A.T.E. Ultimate Collection (2010)

Nextwave, Agents of H.A.T.E. Ultimate Collection (2010)
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Rating
4.31 of 5 Votes: 2
ISBN
0785144617 (ISBN13: 9780785144618)
languge
English
publisher
Marvel
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Nextwave, Agents Of H.A.T.E. Ultimate...
Nextwave, Agents Of H.A.T.E. Ultimate Collection (2010)

About book: Nextwave are Monica Rambeau (once Captain Marvel), Aaron Stack (once Machine Man), Tabitha Smith (once Boom Boom), Elsa Bloodstone (daughter of Ulysses Bloodstone), and The Captain (The Captain). They have silly adventures together while running from, and trying to stop the nefarious plans of, an anti-terrorist organization called H.A.T.E., who are actually a terrosist organization called S.I.L.E.N.T., led by Dirk Anger, an angry, evil man with a big airship and a fractured psyche, at the behest of the nebulous and ominous (and evil!) Beyond Corporation. Oh, it is silly. Full disclosure: Nextwave melted my brain. It's as simple as that. In trying to come up with pithy human-language words to properly communicate my feelings towards Nextwave, my throat makes sickly wretching noises and projectile fluids of all manner simply... forcibly evacuate, before starting to steam up and melt through whatever unfortunate surface it was that saw its way in front of the ungodly puddle of internal, infernal, bodily ooze. Err. Ahem.My point is, reviewing the positive points of Nextwave will be quite improbable in this state. So, what I'm going to do, is list off the few things that I did not like about the book.1) Jokes about cross-dressing. It wasn't so prevalent - it certainly wasn't anything approaching the levels of a Morrison joint - but it was there, and it was disturbing. I can't tell if Ellis thinks crossdressing is inherently funny, or if he's just using it as a shorthand for "be disturbed now," but whatever the context, jokes which make fun of people who dress in women's clothing aren't altogether clever or funny. 2) Suicide. I really wasn't expecting it, and it was deeply upsetting. One of the characters commits suicide, after attempting it in futility several times. It's the darkest the book ever gets, and it's probably the most Ellis-esque the humour ever approaches, but it's there, and I did not like it. Even though aforementioned character does come back as a zombie, anyway.Okay, that's the two things I did not like about Nextwave.Now I'm going to rattle, off the top of my still-addled brain, the things I did like about Nextwave. Buckle up, children.DROPBEARS, EXPLOSIONS, MACHINE MAN AND ALL HIS VICES, FIN FANG FOOM PUT YOU IN HIS PANTS, "TABY," EXPLOSIONS, SAMURAI ROBOT NINJAS, ONE-HUNDRED EARTH DOLLARS, LETTER PAGES INTACT (WHAT!), THEME SONGS, EXPLOSIONS, ANTI-MARK MILLAR GAGS, FLOATING UPSIDE-DOWN CASTLE, MIKE MIGNOLA, EXPLOSIONS, I WAS IN THE AVENGERS, EXPLOSIONS, EXPLOSIONS, EXPLOSIONS. DID I MENTION EXPLOSIONS? I THINK I SHOULD MENTION EXPLOSIONS. EXPLOSIONS. FRENCH-CANADIANS. Okay, seriously? Well... Ellis is clever. He's very clever. And Immonen is talented. Indubitably talented. And Nextwave represents something quite unique, at least in the field of comic books - it's a loving genre parody/satire that pays equal reverence and mockery to its roots. It bills itself as a character-driven action comic, and it does it. It distills it so far down into its core components its barely recognizable, and rearranges the pieces with a malevolent glee, one that both understands how utterly stupid it is, and yet also relishes in that stupidity as its lifeblood.Behind all the self-referential humour, the off-beat jokes, and the cock-eyed self-awareness, Nextwave is still just a fantastic action comic. It's something masterful, that this creative team have crafted a piece in which a literal page full of explosions is both a joke mocking pages full of explosions, and an excited, gleeful, almost child-like indictment of how much goddamn fun it is to have a page full of explosions.It's all held together by its cast, a bevy of D-list Marvel nobodies who have been perfectly chosen to stand together and, as the book itself so often reminds us, punch and kick things. Their team dynamic is that of a broken family - they love each other, really, but they certainly didn't choose each other, and that much is obvious. Every team member is given ample moment to shine, with time given to build their arcs and solidify them as people between them just being used as silly conduits for different flavours of dubious superpowered kick-ass. A stand-out for me is undoubtedly Tabby - a woman who creates explosions from her fingertips, shouts "ZOMG!" and "OH NOES" without a shred of irony, and, weirdly, starts off as charmingly dimwitted, but gets subtly stupider as the book progresses, until finally, a mind control-based villain finds themselves at a loss when it turns out she doesn't actually have a mind to control. Oh, and, of course, there's her catchphrase: "tick, tick, tick, boom." With explosions coming at the "boom," naturally. Love it.Another motif of Nextwave are its ties to the old style of Saturday morning kid's cartoons. Often we're welcomed with a "welcome to this month's episode," we're seen off with a "you have been watching," and the short-form story arcs - two issues a piece - really cement the whole shebang as properly "episodic". Though, it certainly doesn't employ the vernacular of a kid's show - maybe an Adult Swim cartoon, if you're lucky, its wackiness often laced with crude irreverence. It's light-hearted, definitely, but it's heavy-handed, if you catch my drift. Ellis in particular is not above pushing his luck, and I feel like there were definitely "bleeped"-out words that weren't a typically humorous employ of self-censorship. I imagine the editors at Marvel are quite happy they only had to scan these scripts for hidden nuggets of inappropriateness for twelve issues - and even then, it's not hard to imagine a lot still managed to slip by; in particular, gags at the expense of other industry veterans, whose true intentions I wouldn't doubt are vindictive in nature. Basically, Nextwave is rude. Quite rude. Oh, my, how it is rude!Nextwave knows what it is, and is, in many ways, the Wolverine of team action/comedy genre parody/satire; bub, it's the best at what it does. And what it does is... quite nice. Quite nice indeed. A flowing, yet rapid-fire, pace, with stellar characterization, deliciously absurd scenarios, and a refreshingly witty approach to both dumb action and parodies of dumb action, Nextwave is great. It's fantastic. It's great, even. I doubt it'll appeal to everyone, but for those of you who understand, you'll nod your head in complete agreement when I say, Warren Ellis is a monster who must be stopped, but also, Nextwave is a unique joy among both Marvel comics and the greater medium alike, and it would be a shame not to have a copy around for when you're the mood*.*to read Nextwave, I mean This book would've been completed in one sitting were it not for the need to sleep.I don't know why it took this many years for me to finally get around to reading this, but now I'm bummed there's no more. Laugh out loud funny throughout, and featuring yet another character seemingly inspired by Hunter S. Thompson (surely that's who Dirk Anger is channeling, right?), I need to not second guess Ellis' company work anymore (and seek out his Thunderbolts and Secret Avengers runs, too).
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Reviews
letlet1
A great sideline from Marvel. If only this had continued. Absolutely adore Boom Boom.
Neko
Fin Fang Foom, Baby M.O.D.O.K.'s, and DEVIL DINOSAUR!
Sylvia
Irreverent superhero satire at its finest.
Nomad
Crazy, madcap fun.
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