“Edison Rex” actually debuted in July 2012, so it’s not technically correct to say that “Edison Rex” #12 closes out the first year on this title. But considering how much Chris Roberson and Dennis Culver are modeling the series structure on old-school comics from Marvel and DC, I think it’s a fair statement under the circumstances. With 12 issues under this book’s belt, it’s also safe to say that “Edison Rex” has lived up to its potential from that first issue, and then some.
What’s great about “Edison Rex” #12 (and the series as a whole) is that while the book wears its influences on its sleeve (the classic Superman/Lex Luthor relationship being the most obvious, but it’s by far the only one), it still has its own voice. What started out as a series of one-off issues as Edison and his bodyguard/assistant M’alizz encountered analogues of other comic creations has turned into something far greater. There’s an entire rogue’s gallery who feel they’ve been betrayed by Edison, a legion of heroes that still doesn’t trust this villain-turned-hero, and a supporting cast of varying degrees of trustworthiness. Issues are now building off of earlier events, and with each new installment the overall plot is building.
At the same time, though, Roberson and Culver don’t lose track of the idea that each issue should also be a satisfying read of its own. So while people who have read “Edison Rex” #1-11 will love to see how Eclipse and Mirage’s plan to figure out what happened to Valiant is proceeding, just watching Edison and Teenpeace teaming up is a lot of fun. Supporting characters like L.A.R.V.A. and Cerebella are growing in terms of characterization, and I love that even as everything is threatening to crumble just out of his view, Edison has such an upbeat attitude. His sincerity in trying to save the planet is genuinely refreshing, and he’s a former villain that you really do want to succeed even as no one else seems to be buying his change of heart.
Culver’s art continues to look strong; he’s got such a clean and crisp art style, one that’s well suited to the stories that Roberson and Culver are dreaming up. The look of panic on Edison’s face when he realizes that the energy creature is going to blow up is great, for instance, and I adore all of Avatar’s different Hindu deity related forms. And as always, there are some great little touches throughout the book. The cover aping the old Marvel Comics 25th Anniversary covers, for example, or the ongoing “Secret Files of Edison Rex” backup feature that brings to mind a certain “Official Handbook” from years past. Newer readers will just the bonus art and information, while older readers will get a good chuckle.
“Edison Rex” #12 is another strong installment from a consistently great series. Those who prefer to wait for print can pick up the collection of #1-6 already, with a second volume containing #7-12 scheduled for next spring. Personally, though, I wouldn’t wait. At 99 cents a pop, you’re getting a great deal here and a lot of the fun is how well Roberson and Culver are using the serial format to build up the tension and suspense. If you aren’t reading “Edison Rex” yet, at just a dollar, maybe it’s time you gave it a try yourself.