Profile: Comics, Action, Comedy
After Action Report:
Nextwave is a great comic. It’s not deep. It doesn’t challenge your expectations. It doesn’t change the paradigm for what a comic book is supposed to be, but it’s still a good comic. It’s also somewhat hard to access. Nextwave is a parody/satire written for and by a certain cross-section of the geek population who enjoy a broad spectrum of geeky entertainment. In the first issue alone, Nextwavereferences: Japanese monster movies, 90s television, pretty much every major team-up comic series ever, and itself for good measure. All of this means that if you aren’t conversant in these genres some of the comedy of Nextwave might go right over your head. There is still a fair amount of generally accessible comic moments in the vein of slap-stick, crude language and the funny scenario. And we are fortunate enough to live in a world where S.H.I.E.L.D., The Avengers and comics in general have become common conversation topics.
For all of its almost reverential nods to the geek community, Nextwave is definitely making fun of the comic book establishment. Author Warren Ellis is well known for his distaste for the directions that mainstream comics have been moving since the late 80s. Here, that distain is transmuted into irreverent comedy that still manages to twist the knife every so often, particularly if you’re more up-to-speed on the state of Marvel Comics circa 2006. I am not, so I had to get most of this stuff off of TVTropes but that research really enhanced a re-reading of the book.