Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Review - Nitrogen #1

Arcade Comics

Nitrogen #1

Artist: Jon Malin
Plot: Rob Liefeld
Script: Brandon Thomas
Colorist: Dash Martin
Letterer: Marat Mychaels
Publisher: Jimmy S. Jay

Summary – Former teen sidekicks and heroes divert from the path intended for them and take on their predecessors in an action comic fans dream.


The Good –

Rob Liefeld continues his comeback creating and plotting an all new teen superhero team. A big Authority fan in his own right, he is applying that concept towards teenage superheroes in his own universe. In a way he's coming full circle, since without Youngblood #1 over 10 years ago we might have never seen books like the Authority, Ultimates, etc. With him on the endeavor is his friend and long time calibrator Marat Mychaels on lettering duties.

The core creative team is made up of a triad of truly “youngblood” in the industry. It’s quite possible you will be looking back at this title ten years from now and you’ll see this is where some of the top talent in the industry got its start.

Jon Malin is the penciller, inker and character designer on the book. For those who remember my interview with him a few months back, he really goes for 90’s energy with a manga look. Having read the entire first issue, I can say that his mission has been successfully accomplished in both departments. His action scenes are some of the freshest I’ve seen and his character designs could probably make the Top Cow artists do a double take.

Brandon Thomas provides the script for the issue, setting the tone of the title in terms of language, character development, beats etc.. He’s known for his work on Youngblood Genesis, Spider-Man Unlimited and Marvel Age: Fantastic Four. You can also read his column on Comic Book Resources entitled Ambidextrous. As with Youngblood Genesis he did a great job this issue breathing the life back into this universe of characters.

Dash Martin is quite a talented guy capable of penciling, inking and coloring, the latter which he graces this title with. I love the palette he chose for the issue. It’s not too colorful, but yet not that dark either. Which fits this book perfectly. If you read Image books chances are you have seen Dash's various pinup works in the back of such comics as Invincible.

The story itself is one that is for both old fans of the Extreme Universe as well as new readers. Old fans will find a lot of Easter Eggs in this title, such as the presumed identities of the main characters and the slew of guest stars.

Newer readers will be happy to know that all of the bonus stuff will not impact your enjoyment of the story what so ever. This is a straight up balls to the wall action comic and it starts on page one and just doesn’t stop.

This will be available in comic shops across the country this fall and I highly recommend it to all those who want to try something new or want a serious taste of action.

The Bad –

Those looking for something along the lines of Seven Soldiers won’t find it here. This isn’t a cerebral title. Which probably won’t be any loss since the target audience for this book might not be too keen on talking heads comics anyway.

The Money Shot –

Recommendation: Buy It

Recommended For Fans Of: The Authority, Hunter-Killer, Teen Titans and the Extreme/Awesome/Maximum Universe.

Easter Eggs:

Read this if you want the down-low on old Extreme/Maximum/Awesome characters appearing in this title.


Main Characters -

Superion - Formerly known as Kid Supreme who appeared in Supreme from Extreme Studios as well as his own mini series from Extreme and Maximum Press. He spent some time in the Supremacy, but left soon after. No one is sure what he's been up to since then.

Gauntlet - Possibly the teenage hero Geof from KABOOM published by Awesome Entertainment.

Game - Possibly the teenage heroine Kyra from KABOOM published by Awesome Entertainment.

S2 - Spice 2.0 an upgrade or newer model of Spice from Fighting American published by Awesome Entertainment.

Zang - Possibly the old sage master from KABOOM published by Awesome Entertainment.

Guest Stars -

Waxy Doyle - Former Silver Age hero, the financial backer for Youngblood after the government disbanded it. Appeared in Judgment Day and Alan Moore’s Youngblood for Awesome Entertainment.

Lady Supreme - Probe, the daughter of Supreme and Glory. Was in the Supreme title from Extreme Studios as well as her own mini series from Extreme and Maximum Press. She was believed to be living in the Supremacy, but clearly that isn’t the case anymore.

Coral - Female cousin of Roman, the King of Neuport Appeared in Brigade from Extreme Studios.

League of Infinity - Led by Future Girl, the League of Infinity is made up of the greatest heroes throughout time. This is the first time we have seen them show up with this many people though. Supreme is also a member, they first appeared in Supreme from Awesome Entertainment.

Detective Strong - Not sure who this guy is, but chances are he's a superhuman of some sort.

Places of Interest -

Neuport - A legendary underwater kingdom. A very magical place to say the least, they also aren’t short on technology it seems. Played a role in the Brigade series from Extreme Studios.

The Cycle - This is the KABOOM Cycle. Something that played a huge part in the KABOOM series from Awesome Comics. It’s a very powerful force that can also be entered. Geof spent some time in here and aged considerably.


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