First Wave #1
Written by Brian Azzerello
Art by Rags Morales
Covers by J.G. Jones; Variant by Neal Adams
Price: $3.99; 40 pages
Released date: March 3, 2010
If you read the Doc Savage/Batman special from a few months ago, then you got a sneak peek of what the First Wave miniseries is like (but not much more, that special was pretty slim on story).
The goal of this miniseries is to combine various pulp heroes such as the aforementioned Doc Savage and Batman, as well as The Spirit and the Blackhawks. There are a lot of different characters in First Wave #1, and unfortunately the only one I have much familiarity with, Batman, was not in this issue. That means the whole issue focuses on who Doc Savage and The Spirit are, and that’s where this issue fails. I don’t think I’m alone when I say that I don’t know much about Doc Savage, and unfortunately, I don’t know much more after this issue, and I don’t really care to. I generally enjoy the writing of Brian Azzarello, or at least I enjoyed his writing on 100 Bullets, but there’s just not much to write home about this one. The dialog is fine, if uninspired, but the biggest problem is that I have no connection to these characters and this issue does nothing to foster a connection with them. If you don’t know the characters already, you won’t know them any better after this issue.
What will keep me picking up this series the art by Rags Morales. Morales is best remembered for his work on DC’s Identity Crisis, and if you thought the art on that series was good, the work here is an order of magnitude better. The characters are lively, and he does a particularly good job with the scene between The Spirit and Dolan. I wish there was a bit more action in the issue, it’s mostly just a bunch of people talking (which ties into my problem with the writing, too much talking and not much actual info). Hopefully as the story goes on we’ll get to see Morales cut loose on the action.
This is by no means a perfect first issue. If this is how the series goes, this should make a great collection, but there’s not enough in this first issue to recommend picking up each issue. If this comes out in an oversized hardcover, this is going to be an art showcase. Morales has really taken a step forward on this project, and I hope the writing catches up with the art. I’m giving this issue a 3 out of 5, and that’s mostly for the art.