He’s the character that we might not actually want or deserve, but he was a staple of Jonathan Hickman’s (Avengers) lineup, that’s right…Hyperion now has his own title. Writer James Robinson (Justice League) has already given the character interesting and dramatic material in the pages of Squadron Supreme, with so many solo titles in All-New, All-Different Marvel each of these additional series really needs to have a distinctive voice right out of the gate. Does Hyperion have that unique sound?
Find out in this week’s Marvel Rundown.
Writer: Chuck Wendig Artist: Nik Virella
Colors: Romulo Fajardo. Jr. Letters: VC’s Joe Caramagna Recap Artist: Dan Panosian
It’s a little jarring to open up the first issue of a series and see a huge recap page, but for a lesser-known character like Hyperion, having immediate access to his entire backstory is actually quite useful. It gives the reader a sense of of Hyperion’s goals and allows the creative team to skip some of the tedious world-building new series are often forced to do. Indeed, writer Chuck Wendig jumps into Hyperion #1 headfirst, introducing new characters and fresh meaty plotlines right away. This sense of immediacy makes the book distinctive from many of the other new fringe Marvel series, which are meandering their way towards a coherent voice.
That said, while Wendig is smart to building upon the stories Robinson and Hickman have written, some of the new elements Wendig adds do not work. The new character he’s added doesn’t really have any interesting immediate impact on Hyperion’s plot. Worse still, she has a lot of focus directed on her throughout the issue, which means Hyperion #1 wastes some of the precious time it gained from the introductory page.
Then there’s the story itself– Hyperion as a character basically functions as a Superman allegory, and it starts to get grating by the end of the issue. While it is advantageous for Marvel to have their own Man of Steel, many writers struggle to create comics about the Man himself nowadays– to try a make a new Superman just comes across as stale.
Nik Virella’s clean linework and confident character expressions go a long way towards making this title interesting. The characters are well-posed and look like they are caught in the middle of interesting situations. He draws Hyperion’s non-costumed alter ego as a muscular farmboy, which is a believable and interesting image that he clearly gave a lot of thought towards. Plus, Virella also seems to have a knack at drawing vehicles, smattering cars everywhere throughout the backgrounds.
The end of this issue hints at something different for Hyperion, but it’s not ultimately different enough to merit another $2.99. Virella’s artwork is pretty and Wendig’s story could grow into something over time, but I have too many reservations to give this book a proper recommendation.
Verdict: Hyperion fails to introduce the dynamic supporting cast of characters that this bland hero needs in order to stay interesting.