Within this oversized first issue we explore the legend of how pulp hero Adventureman and his comrades have been seemingly defeated by his evil nemesis Baron Bizarre during a city shattering, race against the clock scenario…or have they? With that cliffhanger we fast forward 80 years and we find out we are sharing this reading experience with single mother Claire Connell and her son Tommy who seem to be the only two people who recall the Adventureman epics and where a new chronicle seems to be unfolding.
Matt Fraction starts this book off by releasing us right into the middle of an epic battle with little to no context that could force any reader to check that front cover again to ensure it does in fact have and issue one stamped on the front. We see Adventureman and his team facing a barrage of attacks from the evil face of the story Baron Bizarre and his own team of villains.
Its worth me mentioning now that the Dodsons art is perfect for this pulp-era atom-punk feel the book is trying to grasp and achieves from the setting to every character we get introduced to in this first half of the book.
Now within these first 30 pages we are flooded with information. There are constant character introductions between both teams whilst also exhibiting the powers they possess giving them a uniqueness. We see the heroic team take a ‘superserum’ which may be how they gain these powers or heighten then but no more info on it is given which leave it open to reader interpretation and also a nod that it will surely play a bigger role as the book goes on. Two other objects I picked out that I am calling now will play a bigger part is the clock – ‘Apocalypsydra’ and a book – ‘The Obliteration Bible’
We turn the page from the retro setting and Adventuremans seemingly demise to a more modern world with our actual protagonist Claire Connell reading the tale to her son Tommy.
First few things we learn about Claire is how shows her love for books and overseeing her deceased mothers used bookstore. The reader also begins to understand how Claire leans towards escapism into a quiet life a lot we see this in how she likes to remove her hearing aids to feel a sense of comfort whether it be alone reading in her room or were we see her with her obstreperous family at dinner. It should be noted that the text in bubbles change to a light sometimes unreadable text to show when Claire is struggling or has her hearing aids out, this is an impressive technique to allow the reader to relate more to Claire.
Near the end of this issue we see how that quiet life Claire strives for may be at its end as a mysterious woman enters her used bookstore to show Claire a hard to find book (which evidently has the same logo used in the Adventureman novels Claire and her son have a love for) quickly then this woman is seen rushed back into her transport by her ‘escorts’ before Claire is confronted by a man figure made up of a host of insects… which is undoubtedly leading us into the next chapter with a level of intrigue.
The introduction is packed full of action in its first half with Adventureman I can see that there are a lot of seeds being laid here for the future of this book that has the potential to lead to a great payoff for the reader.
The main protagonist has grasped my interest and I cannot wait to see how Fraction develops on this as his character work on previous books is amazing.
The art and representation of the story so far by the Dodsons is exceptional.
I recommend picking this one up, it has my full attention for what’s gong to happen in the next issue.
Adventureman #1: Intertwined Worlds?
Writing - 8/108/10
Storyline - 8/108/10
Art - 9/109/10
Color - 9/109/10
Cover Art - 9/109/10
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