I feel almost obligated to read these books as JMS and the team of Alex Ross and Jim Krueger have seemed to be on the same wavelength as my own project, Living Legends, that I have been developing for the last couple years or so, first as a comic and now as an original piece of superhero fiction. Both have their good points and their weak points, as I’m sure anyone could say about my own work. Individual thoughts on the single issues are below.
Project Superpowers #1
I didn’t much care for the 0 issue of this book, but #1 proved to be far better. We actually get in to the modern heroes and their actions as the Fighting Yank recruits the Green Lama in his quest to free the lost heroes. They end up in a fight with a much less friendly version of Dynamic Man, and before the issue is through the Black Terror makes his return. The entire story has a certain Terra Obscura feel to it, but unlike that series, Jim Krueger and Alex Ross are playing things a little slower and less world shattering. With statements from Dynamite that this is actually an ongoing and not a limited as it was originally pushed, that makes sense. I don’t know if I like how we have suddenly overpowered the Black Terror, as he seems set to turn in to a character very similar to his incarnation as simply the Terror in the aforementioned Terra Obscura. (This is one of the reasons I tried not to use very many noteworthy Golden Age characters in my own Living Legends. The fact that multiple incarnations of some of these characters existing simultaneously could very well just confuse the market.) The steady pacing of the character introductions issue by issue seems like a good move for the creators, and I’m excited to see what’s in store for the remaining issues of the opening arc.
The Twelve #3
J. Michael Straczynski’s Marvel project is much more in the vein of my own Living Legends, but I think is played for the more easy clichés.
The subplot with Mister E in this issue makes the family issue a little too easy in my opinion, and Dynamic Man’s blatant racism while quite possible of a character from his time is a little too pat for my taste.
The ongoing saga seems all right though, although the murder mystery that runs behind this book seems almost non-existent as a plot point so far. Chris Weston’s art does a beautiful job of giving us the Golden Age feeling of these characters while still keeping a modern sensibility to the title.
Overall The Twelve has been good solid character-driven work so far, but I think we need to really kick the overlying story in to gear sometime soon.