Science fiction and comics blend together perfectly. After all, you’re only limited by what you can imagine and draw when it comes to creating good comics.
FutureDude Entertainment is somewhat new to the comics industry, but they sure don’t act like it! Both this book and their other new offering Brainstorm are as professional as if they had been created by Marvel or DC, and are just as much fun, if not moreso!
Previously in PARALLEL MAN: INVASION AMERICA: “Parallel Man is a seven-issue comic book mini-series, mobile device video game, deck-builder game, and animated short film. The story follows Commander Nick Morgan — an intelligence agent from an evil version of America in an alternate universe. His government, known as The Ascendancy, has attacked and enslaved eleven other Earths and has its sights set on our world as their next target. Nick spent his childhood secretly learning of the freedom in other Americas from his grandfather, Tobias Morgan, and struggles to fulfill the deadly goals of his leaders. Now, after stealing an advanced vehicle prototype and his A.I. companion Atlas, Nick seeks out the leaders of a former rebellion known as The Futurists (led by a parallel version of Dr. Carl Sagan) for their assistance in assembling a legendary weapon that could stop the Ascendancy forever.”
TELLING GOOD STORIES
There’s a balance to be achieved if a comic is to tell a good story. There has to be enough going on for us to maintain interest, but we also must feel invested in the characters or else we say, so what?
For a relatively “new” comics company, FutureDude Entertainment has definitely hit the ground running. I also enjoy Brainstorm, which I mentioned earlier, but Parallel Man in particular maintains that balance between character and action that I find so desirable in comics.
Morris and Haugen have developed a new universe that actually includes our, the “real,” one. A good example of this is when President Obama meets President Cartwright after “our” Air Force One has been forced to the ground. Cartwright tells Obama that he is “your new leader.” What’s up with that? I have to know!
Now, alternate universes have been a staple in comics for decades. Marvel has the Ultimate Universe, and DC has Earth 2, for example. What’s wonderful about these Parallel Man universes is that clearly we’re heading somewhere that’s been thought out instead of making these different places “cool.” I think we’re going to enjoy this wonderful thrill ride, so be sure to hang on tight!
Also, Nick is quite the action hero, able to hop from universe to universe with weaponry and technology that we’d all love to have. He’s being pursued, of course, and that ratchets up the danger. Then, too, “our” Nick isn’t quite the same figure that the “main” Nick is, and that’s going to be fun to explore.
What’s going to be fun is to see how this comic interacts with other platforms, including games and animation. No matter what platform you prefer, Parallel Man is going to appeal to you.
THE ART IS CLEAR AND EASILY UNDERSTOOD
As true as it is in scripting, art must also be able to convey both facial expressions as well as action sequences in order for us to dive in and stay in the story.
Christopher Jones does a superb job of bringing the story to life on the printed page as well as in the digital format. I found myself turning the pages as quickly as possible to find out what happens next!
Jones does a particularly good job with action, in my opinion, making me gasp and say, “Whoa!” a lot of the time. But that doesn’t mean he can’t make similar characters different, such as the two Nicks. I never have a problem with just which one is which. Great work!
THE BOTTOM LINE: ‘Parallel Man: Invasion America’ Is Off to a Great Start!
If you haven’t gotten into Parallel Man, I highly recommend you get this first issue! It’s available on comixology.com or at your local comics shop! I’d be sure to tell your local store to order upcoming issues so you don’t miss a thing!
To learn more about FutureDude Entertainment and Parallel Man, be sure to listen to this week’s Wayne’s Comics Podcast! I’m interviewing Jeffrey Morris about all this, and I think you’ll enjoy learning what he has in mind as a storyteller. As readers, we’re always anxious to find great stories, and Parallel Man: Invasion America is off to an excellent start!