|THE UNEXPECTED No. 2, September 2018|
Admittedly, the Syracuse-born writer’s narrative does contain an early double splash summarisation of Colin Nomi’s origin story, and later it becomes relatively clear that the Bad Samaritan’s mysterious metal, which can apparently “detonate a second time” at any moment, is actually the “heavy isotope of iron” known as Nth metal. But none of this information arguably helps with a plot which sees the blind material manipulator teleport repeatedly from dimension to dimension in order to outrace Lord Onimarr Synn’s ferociously-fanged owl-minions and their female Twi'lek-lookalike “Lady Lamp”; “Manhawks! Hold the fool’s protector --! This shoat cannot keep the Nth metal isotope from me!”
Indeed, if anything this desperate dash from Red Hook, Brooklyn, to Penn City, then Vanity, Ivy Town, National City, Slaughter Swamp, and finally Blackhawk Island only muddles the various plot threads up even more, especially when Janet Fals’ accompanying dialogue concerning “whatever the hell the World Forge is”, is overshadowed by her sorcerous companion’s gobbledygook regarding his “other senses… [being] tuned to more planes of existence than most people’s”, Quench’s metal disrupting “our universe’s fundamental forces”, and another explosion which potentially “could puncture the membrane of reality like a water balloon.”
Happily, this magazine is blessed with some rather dynamically-drawn artwork by Cary Nord, whose storyboarding for Firebrand’s battle with Synn’s General Phade is undoubtedly the highlight of the publication. Clean-lined and well-animated, “the award-winning artist of comic books and graphic novels such as Daredevil, X-Men, and Conan The Barbarian” provides both plenty of gravitas to Nomi’s emotional loss at the death of his friends, Ascendant and the Viking Judge, as well as insurmountable rage in Fals’ furious assaults.
|Storytellers: Cary Nord & Steve Orlando, and Inks: Wade von Grawbadger|