Thanks to Image Comics for the review copy!
Supersized ADVENTUREMAN #1, which gives off a steampunk/League of Extraordinary Gentlemen/The Rocketeer vibe, is a bit confounding. The first half is a pretty nifty retro superhero book about a team of heroes led by Adventureman. Adventureman’s team is introduced as they are called to stop an invasion brought on by zeppelins. Naturally, they square off against a team of equally creatively named and designed baddies. The fight scenes are well choreographed and full of the witty banter you’d expect from a good old fashioned comic book. The characters are interesting. If that was he whole story, I’d highly recommend this book as a fun diversion with a throwback style.
Strangely, halfway through the book, the story takes a sharp turn, potentially (we’ll have to see where the story goes) rendering everything that came before meaningless. As one character exclaims “What the butts?!!” (I am not sure what that means, but it does fit the situation). Whereas the first half of the book was pretty easy to follow (bad guys attack, good guys rally to fight them), the second half was disorienting. While the art style was consistent, the characters and places lacked context. Who are these people? Are they supposed to be living in our world or some alternate world?
There’s a lot to like about ADVENTUREMAN. I really like this art style and the retro vibe. The superhero design is top notch and the first half of the book was particularly strong. It is clear there is an ambitious goal here and I’m sure one mega sized issue is too small to lay all the foundation. I’m curious to see how future issues link the two seemingly unconnected stories together. I’m not 100% sold yet, but this series has a lot of potential and has earned a place on my review list.
The first issue of ADVENTUREMAN was released on June 10th, 2020
Do you plan to read the series? Feel free to chat with me on Twitter or leave a comment below!