Compleat Next Men by John Byrne
Cover Concept by Lorenzo Princi, 21st October 2013

Compleat Next Men

Author: John Byrne
Artist: John Byrne

Reviewed by Lorenzo Princi

The Compleat Next Men is a 2 volume epic science fiction story filled with time travel, advanced technology, robots and super humans. John Byrne takes a unique look at what the world might be like (or become) if the next step in human evolution emerged in our own life time. By giving his protagonists an advanced attributes such as better eyes or immense strength, he examines what it might mean to have such power in a world unprepared to handle the consequences.

Byrne's "Next Men" are but children, freed from a secret project which looked to advance human kind. Throughout the series, they struggle to adapt as they learn more about the real world they were never intended to be part of. As well as dealing with normal human emotions during their adolescence's they must also live with the side effects of their heightened senses and ability's. Jack keeps his loved ones at a distance, as he can't control his great strength. While Bethany who is completely indestructible, has become numb to all touch.

Byrne had worked on the more popular X-Men series which covers similar themes regarding human mutation, however I believe with Next Men, he is able to explore darker and more serious themes. With fewer characters, perhaps delve a little deeper too. Byrne also throws in some commentary on the comics industry here and there, which I found a little odd without being out of place.

Byrne's artwork is as good as his writing, with good subtly to juxtapose the explosive action sequences. Great characters, packed with action and filled with enough mystery to make you want to speed through at light speed. If you prefer a more grown up comic, this won't disappoint. Could easily be the next hit television series to be adapted from a comic.
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