Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Next Men Saved Comic Book Storytelling in the 90s

By Ben C. Scwhartz

The 90’s Hottest Indie Comic

In the early 90’s the comic book industry was beginning to over-saturate the market. Artists were carrying the weight of making writers’ stories readable. It was in this climate that John Byrne stood out with his independent property Next Men.

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What Next Men Is About

Set in the modern time, we are introduced to five kids who find themselves unexpectedly freed from a Utopian, virtual reality and set loose upon a world that has never seen superpowers. There are only 30 issues in the original series, but in that short time, we really come to care about these misplaced characters and the way our world treats them.

Byrne holds nothing back - corporations, secret government organizations, marketing a new super hero team, corruption on all levels, our fear of people capable of powered feats, the interaction of these five heroes with society and between themselves in a world they just don’t understand,  and most importantly, how super powers would actually work in the real world.

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Read Next Men ASAP

Just recently IDW has been reprinting the original series. In two graphic novels you can read the complete series in black and white. The lack of color does not detract from this hard hitting series, but if you prefer to have it, the first volume of the color edition is available and a second one is soon to come. This is a personal favorite of mine and is a nice superhero book without the need to read any other titles to understand the world. Visit your local comic shop for a copy.

The original series ended with a cliffhanger, and now 15 years later, the story continues in a second series. You can jump into the new series and catch up, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Start from the beginning.

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About The Author

Ben C. Schwartz is the owner of Empire's Comics Vault in Sacramento, CA. He also owns and operates his own comics publishing company, ECV Press. He loves reading comics, writing comics and talking about comics (which he does on EmpiresCV.tv and EmpiresOpenPodcast.com).