MYSTERY MEN (Marvel, 2011; Hardcover)
Collects Mystery Men Nos. 1-5 (cover dates August- November, 2011)
Note: Book actually released in early 2012.
Writer: David Liss
Artist: Patrick Zircher
Colorist: Andy Troy
Try as I may to keep up with everything going on in comic books, things get by me. Things like this mini-series, Mystery Men. Not to be confused with the abysmal 1999 film of the same name, these Mystery Men are The Revenant, The Operative, The Aviatrix, Achilles, and The Surgeon. Set in The Great Depression of the Marvel Universe, these five pulp inspired heroes battle evil in a pre-Timely Comics/ pre-Golden Age world.
There are tips of the hat to the Marvel Universe here, from the main adversary, Nox, to a pre-Nazi Baron Zemo. This can be read as it's own thing, though. The main difference with this series and The Twelve is that all five of these heroes were created specifically for this series, as opposed to resurrecting long defunct Golden Age characters.
The writing, artwork, and coloring are all great. My favorite character is The Surgeon, if only because of how deranged he is. There's a fair amount of graphic violence in this book, adding to the pulp/Noir vibe. I love series like this and DC/Vertigo's Sandman Mystery Theatre. I enjoyed the Horror-tinged aspects of this series as well, such as Lysseus, a werewolf-esque monster. Very cool.
So I enjoyed this a lot, even though I was so late to the party that it was over and everyone else had already gone home. That's okay, though. Good comics are good comics, no matter when you discover them.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4.25 out of 5.
The OCD zone- This is from the old-tymey days of Marvel Premiere Edition hardcovers having dustjackets on them.
DVD-style Extras included in this book: Text page by David Liss from issue 1 and text page from issue 5.
Paper rating: 5 out of 5. Wow, flipping through these older Marvel Premiere Edition Hardcovers makes it apparent how much they've downgraded the paper stock over the past year or so. Decontenting and cost saves suck. This has the old thick glossy coated stock which is perfect for modern material.
Binding rating: 4 out of 5. Glued binding. Ain't no one got time for dat.