by Matt Fraction and Barry Kitson
reviewed by Daniel Von Egidy
If you put together a stack of under looked books in mainstream comics, The Order would be near the top. Matt Fraction and Barry Kitson’s The Order breaks through post-Civil War Marvel with old-school super heroics and compelling new characters. But selling fans on all-new characters is a tough sell these days, it took a long time for Runaways to catch on and I’m hoping The Order gets that same chance.
The book works around a simple framing device. The various plots of the book unfurl while reflecting the feelings and past of that issue’s focus character which is revealed in flashback interviews conducted before that character joined the team. When the book was announced I--and probably a lot of people--thought it was a mix of Strikeforce: Morituri and X-Statix. It sets itself apart by not being nearly fatalistic as the former or as cynical as the latter. These people want to be superheroes to help people, not for fame and fortune (which several characters already have).
It’s the little things that really make this book shine though. Jet-powered Communist bears, Zombie Hobos (Zobos!), and The Man from S.H.A.D.O.W.: an amalgam of all your favorite government conspiracies. And Barry Kitson just draws the wholly living heck out of all of it. He’s a team book artist on par with George Perez and Alan Davis and should be reason enough to give the book a look. A book with many rewards and should definitely be on everyone’s radar.