Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Good O'l Reviews: Namor: The First Mutant Annual #1

Namor SMASH!

Written by James Asmus
Art by Max Fiumara
May 18, 2011

Trapped in the Negative Zone, Steve Rogers and Cyclops attempt to save the injured Hope while fending off Namor, who is suffering from a dehydration-induced rage fit. And Blastaar wants to destroy them, too.

The synergy between Rogers and Cyclops, who are both team leaders and amazing tacticians, creates a fluid, action-packed encounter. Asmus serves up a truly geek-gasmic rumble: Namor cracks Roger’s elbow over his shoulder, Roger returns with a shield jab to his throat, and Cyclops stares down Namor before tearing off his visor to unleash a brilliant beam of red energy.

The action takes place as Dr. Nemesis races to secure a way back home before time runs out, which adds a hint of humor to the proceedings as he tricks Blastaar’s lackeys into helping the heroes out. Another highlight occurs when Hope begins to crumble in self-doubt, but Rogers lifts her spirits by offering some truly inspiring advice about what it means to care about your teammates. Hope is still a new character to the Marvel Universe, so this character-defining moment makes for a real treat.

Fiumara knocks the art out of the park by using his unique style of over-emphasized chests and expressive eyes that make each character come alive on the page. After nailing such high-energy action scenes, he expertly switches gears to wrap up the issue with a quiet, endearing group shot that perfectly expresses each character’s personality and their different relationships as teammates, friends, and lovers.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10

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