More gift recommendations for the holidays? Wow, you guys sure are demanding. Okay, fine, here’s another one, just for you: Nextwave by Warren Ellis and Stuart Immonen!
I love this comic book so very, very much. It was originally published by Marvel in a 12-issue miniseries in 2006-07, and is now available in two trade paperbacks or a much more awesome Ultimate Collection.
The backstory: Nextwave is a team of superheroes working for H.A.T.E. (Highest Anti-Terrorism Effort) and charged with battling a number of Unusual Weapons of Mass Destruction, like Fin Fang Foom, the Mindless Ones, and the Ultra Samurai Battle Drone. But H.A.T.E. isn’t really what it seems to be — in fact, H.A.T.E. is actually funded by the Beyond Corporation, which used to be known as S.I.L.E.N.T., a large terrorist group, and the entire purpose of H.A.T.E. is to create more Unusual Weapons of Mass Destruction. Nextwave isn’t real happy about this, so they steal a flying machine called the Shockwave Rider and go on the run, pursued by the frequently suicidal Dirk Anger, Director of H.A.T.E, and his hordes of minions, like the broccoli men, the attack koalas, the Homicide Crabs, and Forbush Man.
If this sounds completely insane, you catch on quick.
The members of Nextwave include:
- Monica Rambeau: Formerly known as Captain Marvel, Photon, and Pulsar. Former Avenger. Straight-arrow leader of the team. Can convert her body into any form of electromagnetic energy.
- Aaron Stack: Formerly known as Machine Man. Has extendo-limbs and all kinds of entertainingly pointy weapons he can extend from his body. Hates the fleshy ones. His robot brain needs beer.
- Elsa Bloodstone: Formerly known as Elsa Bloodstone. Monster hunter. Handy with a gun. Handy with pretty much any weapon, really. Vehemently British. Has high-heeled boots and very important hair.
- Tabitha Smith: Formerly known as Time Bomb, Boomer, Boom Boom, and Meltdown. Former member of X-Force. Possesses the mutant powers of blowing things up and stealing all your stuff. Not the smartest cookie in the cookie jar.
- The Captain: Formerly known as Captain Power, Captain Ron, Captain L. Ron, Captain Universe, Captain Ultra, Captain Avenger, Captain Avalon, Captain Marvel, Captain Kerosene, and Captain @#*!, a name so foul that it caused Captain America himself to beat him up, jam a bar of soap in his mouth, and throw him in a dumpster. Totally generic superstrength-and-flight powers. Really kinda sucks at superhero stuff.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is the most awesome comic in history. Yes, I know I’ve said that a lot and will probably say it again, but I mean it this time. This is the most awesome comic in history.
This is not just because of all the explosions. This is not just because of Dirk Anger and his mad rants. This is not just because of Dread Rorkannu, Lord of the Dank Dimension, who likes cash and the SuicideGirls. This is not just because the team beats up a cop. This is a series that includes everything from naked ninjas to Wolverine monkeys to dancing Mindless Ones to the funniest guest appearance from Fin Fang Foom ever.
It has fight scenes like this:
Yes, those really are Elvis MODOKs. Yes, they really are shooting cheeseburgers at superheroes. Yes, Warren Ellis is a mad genius.
The Ultimate Collection will run you about $35. That’s a bit high, maybe, but anyone who loves awesome comics will definitely thank you for shelling out the extra bucks.
Nextwave by Warren Ellis and Stuart Immonen. Go pick it up.