Monday, October 23, 2006

The Next Best Thing: Next #1 (July 2006)

Apparently, I'm the only one who eagerly anticipates the first week of the month, when the next The Next comes out. Sales have been horrible, plummeting from #100 on the sales chart for #1 (22,700 sold) down to #140 for #3 (10,600 sold). So, nobody else liked it. I guess that means I won't have to worry about it selling out if I can't get to the shop until Thursday.

Characters

Main Heroes:
Monikka Wong, Tweet, Poetry Slam, Cindy, and Ben
Minor Heroes: Superman, Metron

Main Villains: The Iron Ring
Minor Villains: Jorge, Giant Unnamed Space Eyeball

P'Shat

Monikka Wong in a high school student living in Santa Valda, CA with her mom and her mom's skeevy boyfriend, Jorge. Meanwhile, in a parallel dimension, four kids and their dog are riding a singularity harpoon into the end of time. The dog runs away into a nearby dimension and meets Monikka. The kids try to scare Monikka away by creating the image of a giant 20-foot-tall Monikka grabbing for her, thinking that would be what a parent looks like. Instead, Monikka runs away into the street and is hit by a bus.

On the brink of death, Monikka is only saved when the kids decide to do the right thing and form a symbiotic connection with her. This keeps Monikka alive for as long as they remain in her dimension. Originally taking the forms of the Mt. Rushmore Presidents, the travellers settle on relatively humanoid teenager appearances and zeitgeisty names.

In the nearby dimension, the Iron Ring decides to sent the Fist to recover the travelers, where they will be given "Final Dissolution."

Back in California, the travelers realize that they've ripped the time continuum when they snapped the singularity harpoon. Ben sends a repair construct to fix it, while Slam slams Jorge into a wall.

Out in space, Metron notifies Superman of the time distortion. Unsure how to fix it, Superman contains it in an electromagnetic field while he traces back its origins to California. Unbeknownst to Superman, the electromagnetic field also captured the repair construct, which rapidly evolves into the aforementioned Giant Unnamed Space Eyeball thingie. As he approaches California, Superman becomes trapped in the time field, while time itself ruptures, as a man from 1882 rides his bicycle into the present.

Drash

So much going on here.

1. This comic book takes me about twice as long to read as a normal one. Lots of words and good storytelling. Monikka totally kicks ass is a non-superpowered kind of way, and Jorge is excellently creepy.

2. Its got Superman. Yey!

3. Lots of good physics mumbo-jumbo, riding the linearity on a singularity harpoon. Dog is really a "rehearsed concept -- an algorithm with some free will." Stuff like that.

4. Good, creative artwork, especially around Tweet, who is the "artistic" one. Lots of psychedelic images, and Tweet's detached head. I don't need a comic book to see a picture of a building or a fire. I do in order to see Tweet's mental contructs.

5. The inter-dimensional travelers all totally rock. They appear as the Mt. Rushmore Presidents because they assumed they "were some kind of famous group marriage." Ben's full chosen name is "Benjamin Jefferson State-Sponsored Thomas Alva Global Franklin Warming Baseball Cake." It's Zeitgeisterrific! And there's an off-center joke like that on almost every page.

But apparently no one else liked it. Oh well. I'm still buying them all!

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