Monday, 2 August 2010

The Return of John Byrne's Next Men

Okay, so some belated news to catch up with. Last Monday, after having posted my final segment on Adnan Mahmutović, I came across some of the best news with which a guy like me could start the week: John Byrne returns to his awesome creator-owned comic John Byrne's Next Men. Byrne has since a few years back now seemed to have found a creative home at IDW Publishing, where he has both helped bring Wayne Osborne's FX (see my review) to life and contributed to Angel: After the Fall – First Night (see my review), not to mention written and drawn Angel: Blood & Trenches (see my review), Star Trek: Assignment Earth (see my review) Star Trek: Crew, Star Trek: Romulans – Pawns of War and (forthcoming) Star Trek: Leonard McCoy – Frontier Doctor, as well as some assorted one-shots.

Byrne's association with IDW has also led to the simple fact that his previous work on JBNM is back in print and now available to a whole new audience, either in three colourful hard cover volumes – John Byrne's Next Men Premiere Collection Vol. 1, Vol. 2 and (soon to be published) Vol. 3 – or (my own preferred choice) two glorious black and white paperback editions – Compleat John Byrne's Next Men Vol. 1 (see my review) and Vol. 2 (see my review). While both options collect issues # 0–30 of the series, the b/w collections have the advantage of including the prequel 2112, originally published as a prestige format one-shot.

Now, as the series is about to start up again with issue # 31, I would heartily recommend anyone interested in either good superhero stories or good SF to check the series out. The available collections are well worth your money, to be very frank, and would allow you to catch up to the story so far. However, if you do not feel sure about it (heck, don't take my word for it, right?), you always have the option of picking up issue # 31 when it hits comic shops in December and see if you like it. And do not fret about being able to follow the story without having read the old stuff first. Byrne likes to follow the old school adage of every issue being somebody's first and he did, in fact, write the following over at the John Byrne Forum (post 23 on the linked page):

Trust me on this! And SPREAD THE WORD!
That being said, I do think a lot of you will want to pick up the collections. Not because you have to, but rather because they are that good.

Anyway, what are you waiting for? Off to your respective comic shops and reserve a copy for JBNM # 31!

P.S. If you feel like learning even more, First Comics News has an interview with Byrne up now, and it is all about the return of JBNM.

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