Monday, April 9, 2012

Week of Good Stuff Day 2: Nextwave Agents of H.A.T.E.

For my second entry for my "Weekof Good Stuff" theme, I've picked a short-lived comic book that I found to be damn fun: Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. This was a rather strange Marvel Comic from the team of Warren Ellis and Stuart Immonen. It was strange in that it was funny, didn't really care about continuity and was very enjoyable, which was a strange thing to say about a Marvel Comic in 2006. Or even now for that matter.

For anyone who isn't familiar with the book, Nextwave was about a group of renegade heroes who were working for an anti-terrorist organization along the lines of S.H.I.E.L.D. They discovered the group had different aims than what was told to them, so they stole a high-tech aircraft and went off on their own to destroy selfsame organization.

The group includes some long-running Marvel Comics characters. Monica Rambeau, former Avenger and Captain Marvel, was the leader, adopting her Photon identity. Aaron Stack, also known as Machine Man was the ship's pilot and beer and sex-obsessed android. Boom-Boom was a former New Mutant and X-Man, and could create explosions.

Eliza Bloodstone and the Captain rounded out the team. Eliza was the latest in a hereditary line of nigh-immortal monster hunters. The Captain was the powerhouse of the group, as he had received amazing abilities from aliens one night when he was drunk. His actual name was Captain #!%&@, but he doesn't use it much, after Captain America beat the crap out of him and washed his mouth out with soap.

The series lasted for a year. Most of the stories had Nextwave trying to stop the Beyond Corporation, the evil group behind H.A.T.E., while avoiding the former commander, Dirk Anger. Along the way, Fin Fang Foom, Devil Dinosaur and even Forbush Man battled our heroes.

The characterizations were what was the highlight of the book. Just seeing Machine Man annoy the hell out of his teammates was worth the price of the whole series. I'm really hoping that someday Marvel decides to remember that there was a time when comic books were a joy to read and not just a soap opera chore with bad plots, characters and crossover schemes. Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. was one of the last entertaining series that Marvel created. It is collected in a couple of different trade formats, and is definitely worth the time and money to procure.

by Rich Meyer

For those of you new to e-books and quiz books, here's one to tempt your trivial taste buds: 101 questions on comic books for all ages, all skill levels. 

Almost every major comic book company is represented: Marvel, DC, Gold Key, Charlton, Dell, etc., along with almost every genre of comic book, from super-heroes to funny animals!

The questions are interactively linked to the answers for easy navigation. 

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