Every day this year, I will be examining the first pages of random comics. This month (for a while) I will be showing pages chosen by you, the readers. Today’s page is from Nextwave #8, which was published by Marvel and is cover dated November 2006. This page was suggested by BeccaBlast, who unfortunately could not find a first page in which Travis Pelkie is referred to as a “drillrod.” Enjoy!
Nextwave, as we all know, is a wonderful comic book, and this first page is an example of what you can expect from it. If you find it funny, then Nextwave is probably for you. If you don’t, then avoid the book at all costs … because this is an example of restrained humor in the comic.
Warren Ellis knows when to let his artist put together a sight gag, so he stays out of Stuart Immonen’s way (except for two notable words, as you can see). Immonen and Ellis decide, for no discernible reason, to have the Mindless Ones do a homage to West Side Story. Immonen gives us the snaps, and adds a bloodied “Live Strong” bracelet on the second one, because the Mindless Ones are, after all, killing a lot of people in this story, and presumably that One just dug the bracelet. Then we get the big panel, which Immonen nails. The way the panel is designed – moving us from the top left to the bottom right – and the fact that they’re all in sync is just perfect. If that’s not enough for you, Ellis adds “dance, critters” to the “Nextwave” banner at the bottom. It’s understated but hilarious. Notice, too, that Dave McCaig does a fine job choosing colors for the backgrounds in the first four panels. Those colors are downright cheery, suggesting the “musical” aspect of this page. McCaig doesn’t have much choice in using red for the Mindless Ones’ eye … spaces, but he still makes sure that they’re glowing a bit, which makes them creepier and the fact that they’re snapping and tapping down the street even better.
I suppose it’s possible to not love Nextwave, as the comments section in that link show, but if you enjoy it at all, you probably enjoy it a whole hell of a lot. This page is just one reason to love it!
Next: Possibly the oddest first page I’ve featured so far, mainly because of the language in which it’s published! No, it ain’t English! Fret not, though – there are plenty of English comics in the archives!