The launch of Boom Studios new book Hypernaturals written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning with art by Brad Walker, Mark Irwin and Mariano Taibo is visually very nice. Usually with multiple artists on a single issue the change in style is enough to interrupt the flow of the story. It’s sort of like a speed bump in your minds eye. Like when your engrossed in a good book, miles away and the phone rings. Not so here. The artists styles were so complimentary that I was able to continue on with the story uninterrupted.
The story itself is a more modern telling of the Legion of superhero’s in my opinion. Whats different between the versions is Hypernaturals takes their science very serious from what I gathered. Now I’m no lab coated science wiz but I have been known to geek out to Through the Worm Hole and Stephan Hawking’s marathon’s on the Science Channel. The science is woven into the story without giving completely boring explanations of why that shinny ship goes vroom. The technical details unfold naturally in the story.
I hate to say the visuals and writing direction have fallen into an all to common pit fall when dealing with futuristic stories. And in that I mean changing things and making them different just to make them seem futuristic. Crazy haircuts that look stupid now are just that, stupid looking. Futuristic headgear and clothing that look impractical will look just look impractical not futuristic. This in my opinion detracts from the story telling and puts emphasis on something that does not need emphasis but needs to blend into the back ground. There is a reason that Glasses and guns and clothes look like they do for the most part. Functionality.
Another problem I have is with writing that try’s to make things seem different by using made up words to take the place of ones we have now. Changing your curse words into cute made up versions only reminds the reader they are reading a story and takes them out of it. Using the symbols to take the place of that $%*# is perfectly fine. We insert our own colorful words to take its place and personally I prefer this to the actual curse word in the text. But I fraggalaga digress.
The characters are interesting enough and all have potential even if they are stereo typical at the moment. With it being only issue one, that can change. What I’m not to crazy about is the super team type outfits for them. In all reality super hero’s don’t need costumes even in the realm of spider-man and Supes. But that is an entrenched part of that genre. A part that I enjoy greatly in that genre. But when your dealing with a change of subject matter, you need to be more realistic in your approach as well. If all your going to do is tell super hero’s in outer space go all out super hero like the Legion of Super Hero’s. If you want a harder more realistic version go the route of Alien Legion. Both great books in their own rights.
In closing I have to say that the book has amazing potential. The art is really well done and like I said earlier I tip my hat for being able to pull of the multiple artist feat and stay true to the flow of the story. If you like science fiction and super hero mosh ups then this will be a title for you.