The Immortal Men #1
Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Jim Lee & Ryan Benjamin
Colors by Jeremiah Skipper & Alex Sinclair
First thing I noticed with this first issue is that the opening looks amazing. Both the art and colors really pop and draw you in. Watching Caden try to navigate the virtual hellscape he finds himself in is beautiful to look at and the voice over works really well in conveying both the inner thoughts of the young man, but also establishing that there is something ominous and possibly real about the boy’s daydreams. Really well done opening.
Caden next finds himself exhibiting powers he has a hard time explaining, including seeing visions when he touches people. Something he strategically keeps from his therapist and his parents. Deep beneath the streets of Philadelphia, a lone warrior makes his way through the wreckage of a mysterious place previously known as ‘The Campus’ and must deal with the remnants of the dead and dying that litter the area. As he and the woman who sent him talk, we get our first look at the return of the Batman who Laughs.
One of the things I wondered since the end of Dark Nights Metal was which of the Batmen of the Dark Multiverse would survive. I knew it was a pretty sure bet that Batman who Laughs would and it’s nice to see him re-emerge along with his Robins. What happens next is that the survivors of the slaughter emerge from the shadows and decide to go after Caden because he is somehow destined to save the world.
I like the fact that the narration is in the third person as well. It is a testament to good writing that before we get to know Caden as a person, we are given a glimpse into who he is and where he stands in the world. A more intimate narration or first person perspective would take away from the sense of scale that the rest of book seems to be building. There’s also a great transition from the narrator to the voice of The Infinite Woman in Caden’s head. Her presence and motivations are intriguing.
The story itself is both well written and excellently illustrated. I love the style and detail in every page. If I were to find a weak spot in the issue, it’s Caden. I’m not given enough in this issue to trigger the feeling that I should care about Caden or whether or not he’s important. The moments with him in the book almost throw off the momentum of the story because he doesn’t really add anything to it yet. Give me a reason to care about this kid before thrusting him into the role of potential savior.