The Unexpected #1 (DC Comics)
The “New Age of Heroes” at DC isn't over yet, as The Unexpected makes their way onto comic shelves this week. Written by Steve Orlando and featuring art by Ryan Sook and Cary Nord, The Unexpected has a more mystical theme than the other “Age of Heroes” books, and while that's certainly a unique spin on the book, I'm not sure it's enough to make the book stand out on it's own.
Ronan has a unique ability: her skin can erupt into flames. Powered by a mysterious engine in her chest, she needs to charge the device every 24 hours with an adrenaline rush that can only be found through fighting. As a former Paramedic, Ronan continues to secretly work in hospitals under assumed names, but when she's attacked by a creature hoping to harness her engine, she comes across the Unexpected, a group of mysterious mystics who help her escape her captor.
One of the things I'll give The Unexpected #1's script is that it's certainly unique. Steve Orlando has crafted a pretty interesting character in Ronan (also known as Firebrand), and there's a few things about this debut issue that are pretty intriguing. But on the the other hand, this is another book in DC's “New Age of Heroes” line that comes to an abrupt end right when the book is picking up steam. Right as we are starting to find out what the Unexpected's deal is, we're slammed with a “next issue” blurb. There's simply not enough about the team to get you truly invested.
Artists Ryan Sook and Cary Nord share the art duties on this issue, and their styles are similar enough that you needn't worry about any major shifts in the art in this issue. Both Sook and Nord have solid character designs for the members of the Unexpected, but their design for the creature going after Ronan is probably my favorite. They do elevate the book's script by quite a lot, and if you're a fan of their work, you'll like what you get here.
I hate to say it, but so far it seems like DC's “New Age of Heroes” is a bit a of bust. With only one book that i'm actively still reading and enjoying (The Terrifics), that's not a great track record. It's a shame though, cause I was genuinely interested in what they had planned for this new line, but it looks like it'll be over before it really gets a chance to get off the ground if this is the best they've come up with for new heroes.