“The Hypernaturals” #1 is an introductory comic that packs a lot in and eventually suffers for it. Introducing a whole new superhero team, as well as the entire world, of the future is a difficult task and the creators try to force a brick wall of it into our faces instead of building nuanced aspects we can more easily grab and care about. The result is a comic that is a lot to take in, but leaves you feeling like you didn’t take much away.
The opening sequence is bombastic as we see the latest iteration of the Hypernaturals staring down defeat at the hands of a very old and powerful villain. This set up fuels the narrative going forward as a new team of Hypernaturals are set up to go and investigate their disappearance. It’s a sound premise, but there is heart lacking in how it is assembled.
Language is a large problem with this book because Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning seemingly want everything to be tweaked and futurized. There are new swear words, new scientific principles, new everything. This isn’t necessarily bad, but when certain aspects are upgraded seemingly for the sake of it and whole pages start to meld into nonsensical chatter, the effect has worn out its welcome already.
The art from Brad Walker to start this story has a vibrant and yet moody quality to it. His heroes are excessive and his villain is dark. The switch to Andres Guinaldo is smooth enough as it is guided by a complete change of location and style of character. He stretches the scope to nail some of the larger ideas. His smaller moments with the characters bring enough to the page to feel emotional and invested in the story.
“The Hypernaturals” #1 starts off a futuristic superhero story that also drops a major mystery at its center that will surely play out against what we think so far. There isn’t enough here so far to make this stand out against most superheroic books — the ghost of “Irredeemable” from BOOM! still looms over what this feels like it wants to be — but there’s enough here to hope it’ll continue to build into new areas. The magazine-style back up pages are a lot of fun and will hopefully continue in future issues.