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Review – New Men #1 (Action Lab)

Overall
5.8/10
5.8/10
  • Writing - 6.5/10
    6.5/10
  • Art - 5/10
    5/10
  • Overall - 6/10
    6/10
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New Men #1

Writer: Murewa Ayodele
Artist: Dotun Akande
Publisher: Action Lab
Maturity Rating: Mature
Release Date: April 22, 2020

Would you attempt suicide for the slim chance of “god” like powers? Many people are willing to take the risk in 2030. Many places have different ways of dealing with this. In Africa if you survive death and get powers, you are dead! If the government doesn’t get you then killing machine SHADE will!

 

Dying for Power in New Men #1

Action Lab continues to deliver some new comics this time with New Men #1. In this brand new #1 issue we find that people have found a way to harness the “powers of the gods”. All they have to do is to have a little faith and be willing to die! In the year 2030 people are killing themselves for power. Many die, yet a few don’t. And they still gain extraordinary powers. Africa has a unique way of dealing with this new problem. You get powers: you get killed. One person is very good at this. SHADE is very good at taking down these “freaks” and she loves her job!

Writing

I love, love, love the concept of New Men #1. The idea of basically killing yourself in order to maybe get a super power is a wonderful idea. It brings up so many questions. Would you be willing to die for the slim chance you might gain extraordinary power?

New Men #1 (Action Lab) cover by Dotun Akande

Writer Murewa Ayodele plays with that idea a bit in New Men #1 and I hope it gets expanded upon further in the next issues.

The story moves pretty quickly in New Men #1. Maybe a little too quickly. We don’t get to know the characters that much. The concept isn’t well laid out, either. From just reading the issue I couldn’t really tell you much. Most all the information about the issue is in the synopsis. Which is a bit of a pet peeve of mine. I should get all that story in the actual issue. 

I do like the layout of the story of this first installment, though. It moves a bit fast and it feels like it needs to be a bit longer, but it does play out well. I won’t spoil it for you, but the panicked father and the happenings of the situation are absolutely fantastic. Ayodele does a fantastic job of building up the tension in those scenes. It all unfolds incredibly well.

Art

Dotun Akande handles all the art in New Men #1. It is a very digital, clean style of art. It is not one I am fond of. I see this style a lot and it feels like pre-programmed artwork for a lot of characters. It lacks a bit of individuality. This looks similar to a lot of “indie” books I read. That being said the design of the SHADE character has a ton of originality and uniqueness to her. She exhibits lots of attitude that her character needs.

My other big thing – and this happened with another Action Lab book I reviewed – there is a severe lack of background detail in this issue. Most scenes are a little too blank and sparse. I need the world to come alive a bit more: feel lived in and active.

It is not terrible art, but it needs a bit more “spunk” to it. It is a little bland and boring on the page. This is a problem again with whatever “program” this type of art uses. It lacks any type of energy of movement or perceived movement a lot of the time. And it looks similar to a lot of other books.

Conclusion

New Men #1 is another series that I love the concept of, but I do not know how well this issue executes it in a visual story telling method?

The first bit of the story plays out well, but I feel we needed more information to get the real gist of the story and the characters. I shouldn’t have to go back to the synopsis on a website to figure out the whole story. The art, while not terrible, does have some good design qualities about it, especially with the character of SHADE. It does overall lack a uniqueness or an individuality.

I think this is a series with a ton of potential and I am excited to see where it goes from here. It just needs some work.


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