Review: NEXT MEN: AFTERMATH #44

NEXT MEN: AFTERMATH #44
Written by John Byrne
Art by John Byrne
Release Date: June 20, 2012

The story of the Next Men began in the graphic novel 2112 and finally wraps up 44 issues and 20 years later. It has been a rocky road since Byrne decided to revisit these characters with IDW. Though his art is some of the best I’ve seen from him in recent years, the story never quite worked for me. Even moreso with Aftermath.

The time travel (or maybe not time travel) story that Aftermath has followed comes to a quite unsatisfactory conclusion and Byrne finally closes the book on Jasmine and friends. Though the last few pages were a good coda, the whole final arc seemed a closed circle. Nothing was really added to the overall, just one more thread pulled at that unravels poorly.

I read all of Aftermath in one sitting and still don’t quite understand what it was all about. Alternate worlds, time travel, dinosaurs, Roman soldiers, Kirby-esque post-apocalypse. It’s lovely for fans of Byrne’s art, but not great for fans of coherent narrative.

It’s the end of an era for Byrne. I look forward to the next thing and will probably skip this little side trip the next time I visit in with the Next Men

The Verdict: 3.0/10

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2 Comments

  1. John Byrne Says... said:

    I stopped reading after the first issue of Aftermath. Just not a good enough story for the cost. Interesting that you still don’t quite understand it. I’ve read a bunch of reviews, including by people who post at John Byrne’s forum and many people still don’t know what is going on either.

    If John’s mantra is, “every comic is someone’s first”, why did he write a series that even his biggest fans couldn’t understand?

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