Tuesday, October 15, 2013
It had been so long since the first volume, that I felt compelled to buy the complete hardcover, which collects all twelve issues of the mini-series, and a related one-shot. This is why I have no money.
THE TWELVE tells a familiar story: A group of masked adventurers are trapped in suspended animation at the end of World War II, discovered and revived today, and are forced to acclimate, or not, to a world that has moved on without them.
The first issues were smashing, and I was really looking forward to seeing where Straczynski went with his cast of characters. Perhaps if I had read this all in one sitting, five years ago, I would have been more impressed with the second half. As it stands, five years of anticipation have not done this book any favors. It's a good book, don't get me wrong, but it's a standard book, and the second half kind of coasts to a finale that's really underwhelming. It wasn't worth the wait.
The characters, brought back from Golden Age Timely Comics obscurity, are well-developed, and shine in the quieter moments. It's only when Straczynski decides to go for a reveal that's very reminiscent of WATCHMEN that the cracks begin to show in what had been a seamless story. It's almost like Straczynski either never had an ending in mind, or forgot what it was while he was taking a break from the series. Chris Weston's art is a thing of beauty, and he pulls double-duty with the included one-shot, THE TWELVE: SPEARHEAD, writing AND illustrating a WWII flashback tale. I've never read anything Written by Weston, but I was impressed enough by what he did here to hope that he decides to do some more writing.
THE TWELVE could have been great....Unfortunately, it turned out to be a poor man's WATCHMEN. Not bad, but hard to recommend.