John Aman Amazing Man #1

6.5 Overall Score
Art: 7/10
Dialogue: 6/10
Story: 6/10

Decent enough art.

Four different stories with little to no connection makes for one cluttered issue.

John Aman Amazing Man #1
(W) Barry Gregory, (A) Steven Butler
Gallant Comics
2015/2016

The All New Adventures of a Classic Comic Book Hero begin right here! John Aman Amazing Man is an ongoing series that reads like a blockbuster, crossover/event-style comic. Populated by updated versions of classic characters created by legendary creators such as Jack Kirby, Will Eisner, Bill Everette, Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster and many, many more, John Aman Amazing Man is genre-bending, broad-canvas, long-form, serialized, old school action/adventure storytelling. You know, the kind of comics you thought no one was making anymore! As an orphan from the US midwest, John Aman is taken to a secret lamasery in the Himalayas. There he spends decades honing himself to physical and mental perfection while also being trained in all manner of arcane arts and practices so that he might return to America as its protector. John Aman Amazing Man is based on the classic Golden Age character created by comics great Bill Everette (creator of Namor the Submariner and co-creator of Marvel’s Daredevil). “How Sharper Than a Dragon’s Tooth”, Part One of a Six-Part Graphic Novel. John Aman and Johann Rogers (Dr. Vampire) are routing a nest of vampires when X-Bureau Operations Chief Sylvia Manners (formerly known as the Black Angel) arrives to inform John that Zoe Henderson — investigative reporter and Aman’s close friend — has gone missing after a visit to the controversial bio-engineering firm Googer Industries. While in the late 1800s in the Utah Territory the mysterious Hooded Horseman takes his last ride.

Another hero from the long-forgotten past, Amazing Man is back! But with four disjointed stories to tell in one issue, with hardly anything connecting them and no reason to jump from one to another, it’s going to be hard to connect with the character.

When not jumping from story to story, we spend very little time actually with our hero. We see him battling the undead hordes alongside Dr Vampire, and chatting casually with an agent from the mysterious X-Bureau, but what most stands out from that scene is how much he ENJOYS KILLING. That’s right, our hero can’t find anything better to talk about than how much fun it is to fight for his life and slaughter his enemies. It’s quite an interesting idea to focus on in a first issue, since we know practically nothing else about the character. And none of the stories have much depth, just being quick scenes of things happening, with no thought as to why or what they mean. Amazing Man may be a retro-hero, but I don’t think his old fashioned story telling techniques are going to hold up with a modern audience. Everyone but the most die hard fan of this ancient genre is going to lose interest quickly.

And while the art isn’t a total failure, it doesn’t lift the heavy burden that falls on its shoulders. With such uninteresting story and characters, it’s up to the art to try to save the book! Sadly, it’s just not up to that task. One color backgrounds, cheesy character designs from long ago, and flat shadows make each panel just as boring as the text in it.

I suppose if you’re already a huge fan of John Aman’s past adventures, then you may enjoy seeing him back in action. Aside from that, though, I can’t see much for a new reader to enjoy. You may be curious about some of the secrets hinted at, but that’s a cheap way to sell follow up issues, and I don’t think it’ll hold your attention for long at all. It’s a shame to see the opportunity lost, an old fashioned super hero book could be a fun read. But not this one.

 

 

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Author: Brian Reed View all posts by

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