The Unexpected #1 Advance Review: Unique and Engaging Enough with Literal Heart Beatings

The Unexpected #1
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Summary
Writer: Steve Orlando, Artists: Cary Nord and Ryan Sook, Inkers: Mick Gray and Wade von Grawbadger, Color Artist: FCO Plascencia, Letters: Carlos M. Mangual, Cover by: Ryan Sook, Publisher: DC Comics, Release Date: June 6th, 2018, Price: $2.99

Firebrand is a woman who must fight to stay alive… literally. Her heart is a machine called the Conflict Engine. It will stop unless she picks a fight every 24 hours. She was once an EMS before becoming Firebrand, and she volunteers at the VA now to make up for all the fighting. It's here that she meets the Bad Samaritan, who wants her heart for himself. Before he can steal the Conflict Engine, the Unexpected arrives. They are Neon, the Viking Judge, and the Ascendant, and they intend to stop the Bad Samaritan.

The Unexpected #1 cover by Ryan Sook
The Unexpected #1 cover by Ryan Sook

Like Immortal Men, The Unexpected seems to want to create its own new mythos within the DC Universe. There's nothing wrong with this, though it does mean the book has a lot to build and the reader a lot more to process.

The Unexpected does have far more energy and life to it than Immortal Men. It's not so lost in its own importance that it can't have some fun. Firebrand is a solid and well-established character in this comic. She's interesting, and the conceit behind her superpowers is interesting, if a bit contrived.

The rest of the group are more one-note but have room to expand. Neon is the smart-mouth leader, and Ascendant and Viking Judge are both honor-bound brutes with a penchant for self-important monologuing.

Cary Nord and Ryan Sook do some admirable work on the art. The designs are interesting, otherworldly, and at-times creepy. They look like they belong in the DC Universe, even if that is a long and branching roadmap. FCO Plasencia's color art is solid too, giving the book a bit of life and vibrancy.

The Unexpected #1 is a solid enough read. There are a lot of interesting places the book could go from here, even if the read didn't excite me for the series. It's better than Immortal Men #1 for sure, but it's not on par with Terrifics or Curse of Brimstone in terms of DC's New Age of Heroes titles. That said, if you want something bizarre and different from the regular DC offering while still being a DC book (an odd niche, I'll grant), I could recommend this fairly easily.

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About Joshua Davison

Josh is a longtime super hero comic fan and an aspiring comic book and fiction writer himself. He also trades in videogames, Star Wars, and Magic: The Gathering, and he is also a budding film buff. He's always been a huge nerd, and he hopes to contribute something of worth to the wider geek culture conversation. He is also happy to announce that he is the new Reviews Editor for Bleeding Cool. Follow on Twitter @joshdavisonbolt.