By Garrett Hanneken
The fate of the world rests on the shoulders of our unexpected protagonist. We’ve heard this story before: an unlikely hero will rise to the occasion. But does The Immortal Men put a new spin on this tale or is it by the books?
We begin with our dubious protagonist in a dream sequence where he encounters a secret group of heroes and a sanctuary known as The Campus. The protagonist, Caden Park, wakes up from this dream but then sees a familiar face from the daze he just had. Caden knows there is something suspicious going on, but his psychiatrist brushes it off as an overactive imagination. As it turns out, Caden’s premonitions are correct, and he soon finds himself in the middle between two groups of superpowered beings: one trying to save him and the other trying to kill him.
At the end of the comic, I found myself enjoying half of it. On one side you have Caden’s story and on the other, you have the superpowered Immortal Men. As you might have guessed, the Immortal Men’s side was the more enjoyable one. As for Caden, he felt a little too unnatural for a teenager, and he was a bit antsy to get a feel for his true self. I understand he is confused as to what is happening, but his confusion was used as a way to progress the plot making me see Caden as a bewildered kid rather than holding any other distinguishing characteristics.
As for the Immortal Men, they held some ambiguity, but it added to who they were. We learn that they are on a mission to locate Caden and were recently defeated in battle. Through their actions and bickering, we also pick up that they are desperate. This desperation shows us that the odds are stacked against them making their mission that much vital. Also by revealing one of their enemies slice through a victim’s head holds some weight as to who the Immortal Men are up against. Through all of this, writer James Tynion builds tension for our heroes leaving it to the next issue for us to learn more about this dire battle at hand.
The artwork was done by Ryan Benjamin and Jim Lee and as far as I can tell the two had similar styles which made the comic cohesive. The stand out moments go to the few action scenes and the pages involving The Campus both as a sanctuary and then later in ruins. The other pages involving Caden did nothing, as I said earlier, but add confusion to his face. Which isn’t bad on the art side since Caden is portrayed as a confused teenager, but it gets tiresome after awhile.
The Immortal Men overly plays on the unexpected hero, but makes up for it with an intriguing group of heroes who are on the defense. With that said, this first issue may bring readers back to learn more about The Immortal Men and the stakes at risk, but they may find themselves not caring for the main protagonist.
The Immortal Men #1