Review: The Immortal Men #1

There is a secret history to the DC Universe of heroes who have protected humanity from the shadows since the dawn of time…and who can live forever. Enter the Immortal Men! The team, headed by the Immortal Man, has waged a secret war against the House of Conquest for countless years-but Conquest has dealt a devastating blow. When their base of operations, known as the Campus, is savagely attacked, the Immortal Men must seek out their last hope-an emerging metahuman known as Caden Park! Caden’s emerging powers may be able to ensure the Immortal Men’s survival-but will Conquest get to him first?

Jim Lee, Ryan Benjamin, and James Tynion IV have come together like Voltron for this new series which is… interesting. DC Comics’ “New Age of Heroes” promised to introduce us to the next generation of heroes giving us all new stories and new directions. The Immortal Men #1 does that to a certain extent but what’s present feels like it is a new volume of a series that has a long history and continuity. That’s both good and bad.

Having recently reread Marvel’s Eternals, I can’t help but compare the two as the concepts presented feel similar and Neil Gaiman’s take, out in trade today, presents a much more straightforward story to this first issue. Both feature a character that doesn’t know their real history/potential. Both feature beings that have shaped history. Both feature characters that for the most part immortal. This first issue even plays with “the truth” coming through dreams.

This difference between the two is the execution where Eternals feels like you’re discovering this reality along with the characters, The Immortal Men #1 feels like you’re dropped into a story arc already in progress. It explains some things but it’s not clear enough. That’s in stark contrast to the other series such as Damage, Sideways, and Curse of Brimstone which are much easier to dive in to. While those three series were fresh origin stories, this debut is more in line with The Terrifics where you might need some knowledge to truly enjoy it.

While I was a bit mixed on the story, the art is a different story. Like the story itself there’s a long list of those contributors including Benjamin and Lee, Scott Williams and Richard Friend on inks, Jeremiah Skipper and Alex Sinclair on color, and Carlos M. Mangual on lettering. There’s some great visuals though. The art is fantastic with really interesting settings and the characters look fantastic. The use of a dream state opens things up to give us some impressive visuals that’ll have you lingering to decipher it all.

Much like Caden Park, we’re thrown into things and hoping for something greater. I couldn’t help walking away feeling a bit disappointed, especially due to the fact all of the other releases for the “New Age of Heroes” have been so good. I can see what the creative team was going for, I’m just not convinced they pulled it off in one issue. As a trade, or a graphic novel, this would have read much better but as a single issue it falls a bit short in execution.

Story: Jim Lee, Ryan Benjamin, James Tynion IV
Ink: Scott Williams, Richard Friend Color: Jeremiah Skipper, Alex Sinclair Letterer: Carlos M. Mangual
Cover: Jim Lee, Scott Williams, Alex Sinclair
Group Editor: Jamie S. Rich Editor: Katie Kubert Associate Editor: Jessica Chen
Story: 6.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 6.0 Recommendation: Pass

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review