Dark Reign: New Nation #1
Cover artist: Daniel Acuna
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Price: $3.99 US
Marvel Comics hasn’t had the best track record as of late when it comes to its big event comics; well, sales-wise, they’ve been successes, but creatively, they’ve faltered (in my humble opinion, of course). But on occasion, what flows from one of those awkwardly paced stories seems to make the excess and din of the event worthwhile. Case in point: Civil War. Though it started off strong, it lost its way by the end. But in the wake of that event, Marvel released a handful of good to great comics. The Order, Avengers: The Initiative, The Invincible Iron Man and a new direction for Captain America — Civil War served as the setup for all of them (and probably a couple more I’m forgetting about at this moment).
Secret Invasion struck me and others as an exercise in futility. Rather than a cohesive story, it was a marketing stunt, designed to get consumers to buy more comics and to continue buying them by transforming into another event, namely “Dark Reign.” But this one-shot demonstrates that again, some interesting tangents can arise even from a disappointing effort. I have a minor concern that this one-shot simply reprints material from the various new titles it’s promoting, but I’ve been led to believe that’s not the case, that these short stories are original, designed specifically for this special. Now, given that this is clearly a promotional effort, I’m surprised Marvel didn’t offer it at a friendlier price point. However, the page count and quality of the storytelling won’t leave you feeling that you didn’t get your money’s worth.