Publisher: DC Comics
Storytellers: Jim Lee, Ryan Benjamin, James Tynion IV
Inkers: Scott Williams, Richard Friend
Colours: Jeremiah Skipper, Alex Sinclair
Release Date: 11th April 2018
Caden Park has dreams. Strange, unforgettable dreams where he has special powers. Dreams where he joins up with a secret team of immortal superheroes to fight against the encroaching hordes of darkness. Lately however, after one particularly visceral experience, he starts to wonder – are these actually dreams after all?
Honestly, I really wanted to like this one. DC’s New Age of Heroes has already added some great new faces to the DCU, and Tynion IV and Lee both rank among my favourite comic creators in their respective fields. Unfortunately, there’s no getting past that fact that The Immortal Men feels uninspired and forced, with an intriguing central character being suffocated by some unwieldy exposition and a rotating carousel of forgettable heroes and villains.
There’s definitely a nugget of a great idea here, but it’s struggling against an onslaught of pointless information and a pace that’s moving way too quickly for anything to really register. Imagine Percy Jackson blended with any generic 80s superhero team comic, and you’re probably in the right ballpark.
Caden himself is perhaps the only real interesting thing about this first issue; a clearly privileged young Asian-American man with slightly overbearing parents and some deep-rooted insecurities. His fascination with superheroes being used as a way to deal with his anxiety initially teases a clever “I Kill Giants” slant to the proceedings, but things rapidly spiral into a bland parade of uninspired characters and a “save the world” prophecy that feels almost intentionally clichéd.
It’s not all bad though. Lee’s artwork is of its typical high quality throughout, but there’s no real energy or emotion behind the pages, and aside from a couple of impressive splash pages and some admittedly rather cool character designs, this all feels a little bit like the iconic artist is merely going through the motions – for the time being, at least.
At the end of the day, while it does introduce a potentially intriguing concept to the DCU, it does so in a cramped, bloated way that really misrepresents the stellar abilities of its creative team. An uninspiring start then, and not one that I imagine will be encouraging many new readers to pick up issue two.