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Nextwave, Agents of H.A.T.E.: This Is What They Want

Nextwave, Agents of H.A.T.E.:
This is what they want

Warren Ellis (Author), Stuart Immonen (Illustrators)

Marvel Comics (Publisher)

For those of you out there who think that comic books—and, by extension, graphic novels—should be bright, colorful tales of the unexpected, check out Nextwave. At only two volumes, your wallet will be safe…although your mind may never be the same again. Warren Ellis, that twisted master of the occasionally dark but always unexpected, has crafted a masterwork of insanity with his co-conspirator Stuart Immonen. The plot: A group of C-list superheroes are hired by a government anti-terrorist agency (H.A.T.E.) led by a Nick Fury pastiche named Dirk Anger. But the heroes—Monica Rambeau (Mighty Avengers), Tabitha Smith (X-Force), Aaron Stack, Elsa Bloodstone and the Captain (he doesn’t remember his real name)—find out that H.A.T.E. is being funded and supplied by the Beyond Corporation, which is itself a terrorist group. And so our intrepid heroes go rogue to fight the Beyond Corporation’s plans to blow up chunks of America for fun and profit. That’s just the beginning of the ride. What happens next is an insane thrill park populated by Ellis’ creative madness and Immonen’s brightly colored scenes. The thing is, you’re going to expect this to be a “superhero” book. And it is. Kinda. But one thing Ellis thrives on is making his audience think he’s going in one direction, only to take them somewhere they never saw coming (I repeat: psychotic broccoli men) until they run face-first into the last page. And Immonen’s pencils add to the chaos. He likes his bright colors, and his images pop off the page, adding a hyper-reality to Ellis’ creative ravings, which includes sexually frustrated giant lizards, psychotic broccoli men, metal-eating robot cops, “widdle cuddly bears of death,” combat pterodactyl suits and, of course, beer-deprived robot brains. And that’s just the first volume.

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