Saturday, August 15, 2020

New Men issues 1-3 by Murewa Yodele and Dotun Akande, edited by Nicole D'Andria

 I don't read comic books nearly as much as I wish I had time for, so when New Men issues 1-3 landed on my desk, I was more than happy to say yes. With the story by Murewa Yodele and art by Dotun Akande, I was plunged into a pleasing subversion of the standard super hero trope.

The creators ask the question, "What if incipient superheroes are hunted down before they can establish themselves?" Which does make me wonder how our governments would respond in real life if mutants manifesting super powers were to become a regular occurrence.

We kick off book 1 with Faith, who comes into her powers when she and her boyfriend leap of a building (leap of faith, get it...). She manifests powers; he doesn't. The premise is that those who look into the face of death without fear can become gods, the so-called "New Men". And there are those who want to stop these New Men from existing – the anti-New Men agents.

Considering what the agents are up against, it comes as no surprise that there's a high turnover in the workforce, but there are always more to take their place. Enter Shade. She's somewhat unusual in that she's been in the business of killing for more than 12 years (nine years longer than your average agent). And not only is she ferociously good at her job, she enjoys it.

Okay, so any more than that, we enter spoiler territory. New Men is a wonderfully gritty, African-centric take on the whole superhero vibe. It's well drawn and I love the finish to the graphics that have a slightly decon, glitchy feel to them. New Men is ultraviolent, lavishly coloured, and fast paced, with a slick overall finish. My only critique is that some of the transitions were a little on the jagged edge, so the story begs a second read-through to catch any of the twists missed the first time round. Not a deal breaker, but I really just enjoyed the trip.

A lot of love has been lavished on this story, and it gets a huge thumbs up from me. Give it a shot and show some love for African SFF.

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