Review by C.J. Bunce
It’s a similar set-up to that used in the new Stargirl television series: A great superhero of the past has headlined success after success. It all begins as the greatest pulp hero of them all, Adventureman, faces his death at the hands of his nemesis, Baron Bizarre, in a soul-shattering cliffhanger. Or not. Flash forward 80 years later to a mother and her son–the only two people that recall the Adventureman sagas. It all begins here, in the first, triple-sized issue of Adventureman, with some great visuals that conjure the early artistic stylings of Adam Hughes.
This is a great, giant 64-page story from the mind of Hawkeye writer Matt Fraction, a story that has been discussed as in the works since 2016. Yet another legion of superheroes like we’ve seen in Watchmen, Umbrella Academy, Planetary, All-Star Squadron, PSI-Force, BPRD, or Sky High, this is more in the vintage of Alex Ross’s Mask series, which featured characters like Miss Fury and the Shadow. This style is also early 20th century in tone. Meet Phaedra Phantom, Akaal the Timeless One, Sally Sweet, Chagall, The Gentleman, Metamage, Hellcat Maggie, and the dirigible menace, the Automaterror.
Terry Dodson and Rachel Dodson (X-Men/Fantastic Four) are artists in their own right, but their style here, especially their women, is closer than ever to the look of Adam Hughes early renderings, making for some beautiful and exciting panels. Plus, a cat!
This is a pulpy, splashy presentation, evoking Amazing High Adventure, and classic themed stories like Black Beetle. Francesco Francavilla and Robert Hack would be good additions for future covers.
Courtesy of Image Comics, here is a preview of the first issue of Adventureman:
You can pre-order Adventureman in a trade edition here from Amazon, but you’ll have to wait until November. Or add it to your pull list at Elite Comics or your local comic store now. It’s scheduled to arrive June 10, 2020.