The Almighties are a rag-tag group of heroes, ranging from busty bombshells to the werewolf of London, which the government is contracting for special ops missions. I think. Maybe.
This pre-first issue to The Almighties attempts to lay the groundwork for a compelling yet fun superhero team book, but ultimately comes across as fragments of backstories and confusing continuities. The splash page introduces the team leader of the Almighties, Max Mitchell aka Maxi-Tron. He’s a cool yet smart guy trying to rise above the crowd by building a superhero inspired battle suit. The team is composed of five members, all of which get a page or two of back story integrated into the narrative by a “case file” discussion between team member Stefanos and government agent Joe Cyborg. Yes. Joe Cyborg. A head mounted on a robot body. I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried. First, we have Nite Fang, a scumbag from London who finds himself on the receiving end of a werewolf attack, turning him into a lycanthropic scumbag. Next is your token, barely clothed yet well-endowed heroine with a troubled past. Ms. F wastes her flashback trying to recruit a former Canadian hero, so we really learn nothing about her except she got her generic powers from a radioactive mite, which is both cliché and lame. Finally, we get a whopping two panels discussing Mason, a commando that escaped prison and loves killing. He’s basically Snake Plissken with depth perception.
You’d think after this basic rundown, we meet the team all together and have a fight scene or something, but no. The comic takes the weirdest detour I’ve ever seen to a new potential team member, Wayne Winston. He’s a rambling, wise-cracking, violent psychopath living with an old woman and a dorky bespectacled roommate, Rodent. Oh, and he has super healing powers. DOES THIS SOUND LIKE ANYONE TO YOU? I’m not sure if they are making a parody of Deadpool or ripping him off, but either way, is doesn’t work. They order Mexican food for God’s sake. Come. On. So, anyway, these people are living in Subterranea, a magic-infused underground cave which puts out calming chemicals that mellow out Wade’s, I mean Wayne’s, psychotic tendencies. Unfortunately, a demon wants to use Subterranea to open portals in space-time for his own devious agenda. Six pages of corny jokes and impish violence later, Wayne and his family get kicked out. I guess we find out what happens to them in The Almighties #1, because the last panel says “The End”.
Alas, it is not the end. There’s a whole new sub-plot about reviving a beloved character that died in the line of duty. That character is named… wait for it… Agent Phil Coleslaw. This made my eyes roll so hard I could see my brain, or at least what was left of it. Because this blew my freaking mind. Are they messing with me? Seriously! I won’t ruin this eight-page masterpiece for you because I could never do it justice, but if the first 14 pages are any indication, you can guess what you’re getting yourself into.
I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy the book, or that you won’t either. I will say that it is not for everyone. It pokes fun at superhero teams (as referenced by the variant covers) while maintaining that they are a legitimate super group. Most characters are either direct variations of an existing hero or a combination of multiple characters. There are five different creative teams sprinkled throughout this issue, so the art and style is all over the place, ranging from gritty to cartoonish. The main artist Eleonora Kortsarz has a unique style that fits well into the tone of the book. I believe writer Sam Johnson has potentially compelling characters and a drama-driven team dynamic, but he’s trying so hard to be edgy and/or witty that it comes off forced and flat. There are plenty of jokes and situational humor, but the only things I truly laughed at were the blatant references to other comics or pop culture, whether that was intended or not. Oh and when the president is caught playing Hungry Hungry Hippos with himself. Heh heh.
This is a fun book to read with great variety in art style and the foundation to several interesting characters. However, since the characters are contrived, I have a hard time believing their growth will be authentic or unique. I may pick up the first issue, just to see if this #0 preview was the basis for the series as a whole or just a sampling to make the reader situated with the Almighties universe. Either way, this is a goofy alternative to the Avengers, so long as you don’t mind all the references to the actual Avengers.
Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars
Creative Team: Sam Johnson, Mike Gagnon, Eleonora Kortsarz, Graham Pearce, Pablo Zambrano, Ron Gravelle, Juan Ramirez
Page Count: 24
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