Writer: James Tynion IV
Pencils: Jim Lee & Ryan Benjamin
Inks: Scott Williams & Richard Friend
Colors: Jeremiah Skipper & Alex Sinclair
Letters: Carlos M. Mangual
DC’s New Age of Heroes continues this week with the release of Immortal Men #1. Spinning out of Dark Knights: Metal, Immortal Menis an interesting premise that delves into the now revealed conflict amongst a race of Immortals who have secretly been protecting, maneuvering and manipulating the DC Universe since the dawn of time. For what purpose? That is no doubt what Immortal Men will be dealing with. Sadly I won’t be along for the ride as Immortal Men #1 is a disjointed comic that is far more reminiscent of the ‘90s Image trend that was artist first story a distant second.
The Immortal Men #1 opens like many traditional super hero origin stories. Our POV character, Caden Park, a young affluent teen who is experiencing powerful dreams of death and destruction, dreams that Caden feels are real and imply that he has powers. It’s obvious that Caden’s story is going to unfold over the course of the first arc of the series as unbeknownst to him there are two separate groups hunting him, each with an agenda. There isn’t much else to the issue other than building to a conflict at the end of the story that eventually introduces the Immortal Men who are Ghost Fist, Timber, Stray, and Reload. All new characters, blanks slates in a sense but any long time reader of comics can easily figure out their role and place within this title and team as they are stereotypical and sadly unoriginal. We are also introduced to the Hunt and the Infinite Woman. They are set up to be the antagonists of the series and there is even a brief appearance by the Batman Who Laughs, no doubt to tie the story into Dark Knights: Metal. The Immortal Man is lurking in the background, looking more like Vandal Savage (so much so I thought it was Vandal) than what the Immortal Man usually looks like. Hell, maybe it was Vandal Savage, with little explanation and no substance within the story it was impossible to tell.
I wanted to like Immortal Men. It has an interesting premise, a race of Immortals in secret conflict across the multiverse since the dawn of time. Unfortunately Immortal Men #1 falls flat. As a reader who experienced the ‘90s Image revolution first hand I feel like I have read the Immortal Men #1countless times before. It reads like a cookie cutter rehash of to many lackluster books that have come before it. The characters have no depth and every scene is predictable and unoriginal. The promise of Jim Lee artwork doesn’t even save it as Lee draws less than half the issue and isn’t even solicited on the second issue. Ryan Benjamin is the artist for the other half of this book, the majority of which is the Caden pages. Benjamin’s work looks rushed and he mimics Lee’s style so heavily that it feels like a poor knockoff. I’m disappointed that DC propped this book up as the next Jim Lee vehicle as it is anything but that. I knew he wouldn’t be on the title for the long haul but I hoped to at least get an arc out of him, not just half an issue. James Tynion IV seems handicapped by the story being told. Since he, Lee, and Benjamin are listed as storytellers I’m assuming that the story was developed and drawn by Lee and Benjamin and Tynion had to fill in the pieces, and unfortunately fall’s flat.
Verdict: Immortal Men #1belongs more at Imagein the ‘90s then it does at DCin 2018. It’s both unoriginal and uninspired. Jim Lee’s art doesn’t even save the issue, as there is hardly any of it. Sadly Immortal Men#1doesn’t hold up to the hype around it and its creative team.