In Review: Human Bomb #1

The cover: Great cover by interior artist Jerry Ordway showing Michael Taylor employing his power. Within this book this character is nowhere near this level of control, but I’m assuming he will be by the final fourth issue of this limited series. I’m guessing that interior colorist Hi-Fi also contributed to the cover. It’s too much orange. I wish the background had been darker so that the explosion didn’t get swallowed by the background. Overall grade: A-

The story: A ton of groundwork is laid out in this issue by Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti titled ”Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Kill” (Is the serial comma really dead?). Protagonist Michael Taylor awakens from the same nightmare: receiving the Medal of Honor from the President and then exploding, taking the White House with him. He then makes his way to Ground Zero at the World Trade Center where he works construction. His peers are all over him since he’s due to get said medal from the President. And then something happens. Then there’s an eerie flashback to what happened to Michael in the Middle East during one of his tours of duty. Back in the present, things get worse when Human Bomb Fifty starts to pursue him. This story is as far as you can get from the Freedom Fighters of DC’s days of yore, and it was enjoyable. I’m left with a lot of questions by the end of this issue, especially how those last three pages fit into the big picture, and I want to see how everything fits together. Overall grade: A

The art: This is drawn by Jerry Ordway. The Jerry Ordway. This man’s track record is amazing, from All-Star Squadron (a favorite of mine) to Shazam! Ordway can do nothing wrong, it’s that simple. His character work is incredible, never bordering on caricature; his backgrounds are perfection, always highly detailed from a variety of angles; and his action dynamic–the chase scene is as cinematic as a comic can get. Ordway is comic book gold, and if you’ve never had the pleasure to encounter his work, here’s his latest. You can’t go wrong. Overall grade: A+

The colors: Hi-Fi is responsible for this issue’s color and they do a good job. I liked how the dream was faded, but why wasn’t the flashback in Afganistan colored the same? I had a problem with the overuse of oranges. Yes, that’s the color being used to denote the bombs’ explosions, but why use it so much as a background color when there’s no “BOOM!”? I hopt that this color is reserved for when the power is used, and nowhere else. Overall grade: B+

The letters: Decent sound effects for the first half of the book, but when things really get explosive the book goes mute. This was a major disappointment. On dialogue Taylor Esposito is good, I just wish editor Harvey Richards had allowed him to really make things go boom! Overall grade: B

The final line: A solid beginning that will have me following until the end. This is how a New 52 character should be introduced to readers! Overall grade: A-

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