Friday, August 26, 2011

John Byrne's Next Men #9

The final issue of this nine-issue story arc for the John Byrne's Next Men manages the difficult task of wrapping up a time travel story that, in lesser hands, would have been a confused mess.

Instead, it's a smart, clearly-told adventure that plays fair with the reader while offering up lots of surprises, interesting characters and clever twists.

Having suffered through a number of traumatic events - including developing super-powers, being tortured, assaulted and controlled (to name a few) - the surviving members of the Next Men may have found a way to alter their destiny, thanks to the time-traveling technology at their disposal.

But... (there's always a big "but," as the old joke says) the solution may mean the destruction of the team.

As always Byrne crafts a sharply detailed story (although Jazz gets to be a bit annoying here, her reactions are true to the character), and the art is fantastic, running the range from intimate moments to world-changing events.

I wouldn't recommend this issue to a new reader (wait for the collection), but this is a rewarding wrap-up for longtime readers, and paves the way for the next (and possibly final) Next Men story.

Grade: A


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