Saturday, October 11, 2014
Do you remember Frankie Raye? If you said no, then you're probably among 90% of comic-book fans, and that's a conservative estimate. Frankie Raye was the girlfriend of Johnny Storm, The Human Torch, during John Byrne's legendary run on FANTASTIC FOUR back in the early 1980's. (VERY early, since this all happened at the very beginning of Byrne's run, and climaxed about a year or so in.) Frankie had a very convoluted backstory that had something to do with Professor Phineas T. Horton, the man who created the original (Android) Human Torch. She had some kind of flame power that was held in check by a suit that he made for her, yadda yadda yadda...it was all very convoluted, and ended with Frankie becoming the new Herald of Galactus (!!!!!), Nova.
Now, at some point, she seems to have died. That's where HERALDS, written by Kathryn Immonen, with art by Tonci Zonjic, James Harren, and Emma Rios, comes in. Immonen must have LOVED Frankie Raye, and assumed that everyone else did, because she also assumes that everyone knows Frankie's story, and will be all ready for a sequel without any kind of recap at all.
The book starts with Cyclops celebrating Emma Frosts's birthday with a surprise: He's gathers a totally-out-of-left-field group of women in Las Vegas to celebrate with her: Patsy "Hellcat" Walker, Photon, Valkyrie, She-Hulk, and Agent Brand of S.W.O.R.D.- I, personally, would not be too thrilled if my wife flew me to Vegas for my birthday and left me with some dudes that I didn't know, but were in the same line of work as me. Good times.
So, from this VERY loose premise, we then get a breakout of clones and dinosaurs (??? Why do they have clones and dinosaurs locked up there...?????) from the S.W.O.R.D. facility. I don't even know what the fuck S.W.O.R.D. IS, and it's never explained, but that would turn out to be the least of my problems. (They not only have clones, but clones of Albert Einstein and HITLER. WTF???)
There's some hooey about a waitress who goes nuts, and the essence of Frankie Raye looking for a host (I think....I really had no clue what this story was about, so I'm winging it.), but the gist of all of my complaints is: THERE'S NO RECAP OF ANY KIND. If I didn't already know about Frankie Raye, I would have had NO....IDEA...what any of this was about. Plus, I don't remember Frankie Raye being such a man-hating shrew. When did that happen?
Anyway...I was really looking forward to reading this book.....The premise seemed engaging, the characters are ones that I like, and seeing them on an adventure together seemed like a no-brainer. Boy, was I wrong. This book is, as the kids like to say, "A hot mess". Another wasted twenty bucks that I could have put towards my Discover bill......