Reviewer: James Hatton
Story Title: Rise of the Imperfects
Writer: Greg Pak
Artist: Renato Arlem
Coolorist: June Chung
Letterer: VC’s Rus Woootono
Cover Artist: Jae Lee
Editor: Mark Paniccia
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Video games and comic books seem as if they should go together. They both generally hit the same demographic and they both are all (again, GENERALLY) about action. With the raging Wolverine who is a cross between a Lord from Dynasty Warriors at times, and can have the cold blooded ruthlessness of the main character from Manhunt. Iron Man who is like Mega Man with an addiction problem, and Elektra who could fit into Tenchu: Stealth Assassin seamlessly.
How come then, most comic book games suck? With a horrible pedigree of games like Danger Girl, Spawn, and only a few winners amongst (Spider-Man and X-Men: Legends come to mind), it feels like you need luck to make one of these high-rated licenses work. Well, Nemesis Imperfects wants to not only redefine how the crossover works, it wants people playing video games to read comics and vice versa. An experiment worthy of the geeks that we are. How’s the book, though?
Thousands of years ago a race of humanoids gathered subjects, filled them with goo and hoped for the best. The goo was meant to enhance their race to some unknown means, but sadly kept killing off most of its subjects. These humanoids needed to find a better subject, and then they found humans.
What happened in that last 2000 or so years is completely unbeknownst to us, but I will assume had something to do with tea parties. We appear here on Earth discussing perfection. The Thing isn’t perfect, nor is Wolverine, Spider-Man, or (no matter how good she looks) Elektra. That doesn’t mean they don’t WANT to be perfect. Deep in their hearts, they know that they yearn for something better inside themselves. These beliefs may be deeply seated, but they know it.
Captured by the same beams that probably steal cows from the deep grasses of Omaha and leave crop circles, off they get sucked into the spaceship of our time waiting bad guys. They are each injected with goo, and the issue ends with them all glowy eyed and pissed off.
Yes, they want to be perfect. Now they seem to have the chance to find out if they can. No responsibility, moral obligation, family, or questionable allegiances – nothing to hold them back.
I make this sound SOO good, but I will admit it’s too quick. It leaves lots of questions that will hopefully be explained in future issues and I honestly don’t feel that Spider-Man wants to be perfect. Oh, and the goo turned Elektra green… I’m not ok with that.
Art is strong. Why? It looks like Alex Maleev. I LOVE Alex Maleev – and if he was drawing this book it would be awesome. He’s not though, so we are given Renato Arlem who draws exactly like Maleev. Heavy inks, some thick lines, some thin lines, but I have to say that he makes his characters look much more definable. I’m not going to say I like this guy more than Maleev, but he does draw a sweet looking Elektra and Thing.
Add in the beautiful lighting effects from colorist June Chung and you have a pretty comic. I’m not sure the darker style is prime for a video game crossover, but I could see it work if the game is cel-shaded. Either way, pretty.
Like I said, the book goes WAY to quickly. The book went so fast I went and I counted pages to make sure it had it’s full 23 (which it does). There is no mention that this book is going to be finishing off the same week that the video game comes out. Sneaky. The only link between the two is the ‘EA’ logo on the title page.
So, I’m not sold after one issue, but the look and feel of it was strong enough for me to give it another one. If you are going to be trying out the video game, even as a renter – it’s a neat enough concept to support.