Monday, November 25, 2013

Review - Never Ending #1


"Nothing. Ever. Changes."

If you're "blessed" with the ability to endure time and continue living, you may or may not be happy. True, you'll live through quite a few beautiful sunsets and birthdays, but eventually, things will get lonely. How you cope with that loneliness ranges from just dealing with it to seeking a way to rid yourself of it. Finding a way to get rid of it makes for rather interesting reading and Dark Horse Comics is preparing Never Ending #1 to offer that read.

The issue is written by Adam P. Knave and D.J. Kirkbride, illustrated by Robert Love, colored by Heather Breckel and lettered by Frank Cvetkovic.

Charles Baxter has a problem. It's not the numerous villains he has to face off against. It's not the number of times that his city is imperiled. It's time. Charles has been trapped for decades in a body that's superpowered and never ages, driving him insane. He wants a cure and he's turning to the one person he thinks is capable of helping him in that regard: his archnemesis Archibald Crane. The same Crane who's been relentless in his pursuit of punishing Charles in as many ways as he can.

Knave and Kirkbride have teamed up and the story is pretty fun, if not necessarily original. Charles Baxter is somewhere between a vampire and Metro Man from Megamind. The former because Charles wants to live a mortal life, the latter because he wants a life outside of being a superhero. The first issue does a great job though offering up the tale of Baxter and his life of woe. For instance, he's terrified that his unborn child will enter the world with some of his superpowers; superpowers which he inherited in pretty standard, meteor fashion. The first entry in the issue spends a lot of time going back and forth between action and dialogue, both of which helps to get the story going. There's also a nice nod to the fact that the epic superhero/supervillain battles often lay waste to the city below, as the story seems to be aware of itself as a comic to an extent.

Love's art is very well done. There's very much a superhero feel to the work, including some panels where Charles is reminiscent of Tarzan. The fighting between Charles and Archie is done to great effect, fully displaying the carnage their brutal combat has on the city. Love uses some interesting perspectives as well, where some of the characters move between the forefront and back of the panels themselves. Typically, the characters in the front take precedent in the panels, with little detail on display in the background. The panel layout is pretty standard in terms of panel shapes, with a few exceptions where the rectangles are eschewed for edgier shapes.

Never Ending #1 is the first of three issues and here's hoping it won't be too predictable. There's always been this theme with certain heroes reluctant in their roles and how Charles plans to utilize Archie to solve his "problem" will be interesting. The dynamic between Charles and Archie is pretty much a rollercoaster, but follows the track of friends turned enemies out of jealousy. The next two issues could be very exciting and here's to Knave and Kirkbride offering up some twists and turns.

Never Ending #1 is in stores November 27 with interiors below.






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