Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning return to cosmic storytelling with The Hypernaturals.
Credits & Solicit Info:
The Hypernaturals #1
Writers: Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning
Pencils: Brad Walker and Andres Guinaldo
Inks: Mark Irwin and Mariano Taibo
32 pages. $3.99
Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning have garnered a following for their work on "cosmic"-related works like Legion Lost at DC and War of Kings at Marvel. Now the writing duo has come out with their own creation, The Hypernaturals from Boom! Studios. The book made its debut on Free Comic Book Day with a "zero issue," and issue #1 came out last week.
Set in a future post-Singularity "human galactic culture" called The Quantinuum, The Hypernaturals are a group of heroes who serve up to two "iterations" of five years apiece protecting the galaxy. It's easily to compare the group to Legion of Super-Heroes, but there's a touch of Youngblood here as well. The group are celeberties with endorsement deals and the like.
The zero issue introduced the newest iteration of the Hypernaturals team, who promptly went missing on their first mission on a distant planet. There's no real reason to get into details on who they are/were, as they're probably either dead or worse by the end of the book. You don't need to have read the zero issue to understand issue #1 per se, but it does give a hint of the mission, and what went wrong.
Hypernaturals #1 opens up with two former team members, Thinkwell (a Brainiac Five-type character who protrudes "ink" from his fingers that he uses to write out mathematical calculations and the like), and Bewilder (who can accelerate to short bursts of super-speed) preparing a search-and-rescue mission. After hooking up with Halfshell, who was a reject for the current team, and Shoal, a new applicant, they set off to find out the team's fate. The search leads to the possible involvement of a old and quite dangerous enemy of the team.
The only other character you need to know about is Clone 45, a former leader of the team (and ex-husband of Bewilder) who has fallen through the cracks in the Quantinuum. Apparently, the AI in the center of galactic society hasn't figured out how to eliminate either class structure or poverty in the future.
Scriptwise, Abnett and Lanning tell a compelling enough story to warrant picking up the next issue or two at the very least. Character development is naturally at stage one, but Thinkwell and crew are interesting enough for readers to want to know more about them. I'm also curious to see how developed the Quantinnum future culture is. On one hand, the technology is there for a society that differs in many ways to our own. Still, things are still not fleshed out enough to where things could only be a step or two away from being generic sci-fi.
My only other issue with this comic is the lack of action. The only true action sequence comes in the form of a flashback scene in the first six pages. After that, it's talking, talking, and more talking until near the end of the story. That may be a little too much for readers who expect more from a book with a $3.99 price point.
Pencils are split between Brad Walker (who drew the zero issue) on the first six pages, and Andres Guinaldo for the rest of the first issue. They both tend to be a little raw at times, but are passable enough for storytelling. Characters are drawn well enough, but neither artist provides a vision of the future that seems to be unique from what has been seen in comics before. That may be one of the downsides of the book.
Hypernaturals shows a lot of potential in its first issue. The biggest thing the creators involved need to work at is distinguighing their vision of the future from that of other SF-themed books.
Review by: The Nacireman
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