Chuck Wendig (W), Nik Virella, Marc Laming (A), Romulo Fajardo Jr. (CA)
Cover by Elizabeth Torque
Publisher: Marvel Comics
“I am a god.”
So, this is the last issue of Hyperion. I’m really disappointed. I didn’t really have any expectations of the series when it was first announced. I like the character of Hyperion well enough, honestly more than any certain blue-and-red characters off of which he may or may not be based. However, I wasn’t sure how well a solo series would hold together for the character.
Incredibly. The answer to that question is incredibly.
Speaking of which, you know the part of Man of Steel where you see Henry Cavill trying to “discover himself” by working on an oil rig and chunking a guy’s semi-truck? That’s what Hyperion seems to be going for, but, you know, it’s a good version of that. Hyperion has more compelling reasons to be confused about his identity. His father had ideals that, on the surface, seemed good, but, in practice, they were impossible to live up to and were somewhat cold. He has lost the world he actually knew, and he teamed up with other multiversal orphans and killed one of the men responsible. He isn’t mourning the loss of world he never knew while being told bizarre morals by Kevin Costner.
Okay, sorry, I’ll stop making fun of Man of Steel now.
This book truly was very compelling. By the end of it, you’re not sure if Marc is a good person or not. He’s not sure himself, but you both know who Hyperion is now.
Also, hey, it’s a comic that isn’t a Civil War II tie-in. That’s always refreshing!
This issue picks up with Iron Man coming to arrest Hyperion for the murder of Namor that took place in the first issue of Squadron Supreme. A fight ensues in which Thundra partakes in as well. It becomes abundantly clear that Stark isn’t going to win the fight, but he isn’t going to back down either. However, Junior and his new army show up to take back Doll. Hyperion and Iron Man work out a deal so that Hyperion can deal with the threat and Doll can be taken to safety by Iron Man.
This issue provided a very satisfying if unsettling conclusion to the Hyperion story. He knows who and what he is now, but that realization may not be to the benefit of everyone.
The conflict between him and Iron Man is engrossing, but it feels—incomplete, if that’s the right word. Stark tries to overrule Hyperion’s perception of justice through execution by providing a carousel metaphor that keeps turning with continuous revenge killings. Hyperion never really dismantles that point, but you feel that he could by simply mentioning that Namor killed a whole planet or Iron Man’s involvement in that act. On that note, it is bizarre that Hyperion isn’t out for Iron Man’s blood too. He didn’t blow up any planets, but he helped create the device that did. Maybe Squadron Supreme has explained why Iron Man isn’t on the hit list too. I haven’t read too much of that series.
That being said the dialogue between the two is still enjoyable, and the tension it provides is engaging. The fight between them is pretty awesome too. I like Iron Man well enough, but it’s always at least a little enjoyable to watch the smug shell head get his ass kicked from time-to-time.
The manner in which Hyperion deals with Junior and his cadre is pretty awesome too, and it’s something that actually makes a lot of logical sense in terms of dealing with an army of decidedly not immortal people and one immortal. It’s fairly chilling and brutal as well. I won’t give away specifics, but it shows how frightening someone with power like Hyperion’s could really be.
On the note of Hyperion’s self-discovery, I will say it is a far cry from the Hyperion that we were shown in Jonathan Hickman’s Avengers #34.1, where he was humble and did anything possible to peacefully “instruct” instead of beating on people. On the whole, this Hyperion is the polar opposite of Hickman’s version of the same character. However, with the atrocities of the Illuminati coming to light and the influence of Nighthawk, it’s not unfathomable to see Marc Milton reach this point.
This is a more embittered and saddened Hyperion, but he is still very readable. This is how to write a character like this, and it’s thoroughly compelling. He has motivations, he can be happy, and you can understand his point of view. I still like this interpretation of Hyperion a lot. The moment in which he declares “I am a god” really solidified this new identity.
The art is still really good, and there are many beautiful frames of Marc in this comic. I particularly like the scene in which he changes into his Hyperion uniform in full view of Junior and his men. It shows he has no need for pretentions and theatrics. He lets his powers and actions speak to who he is.
I highly recommend this comic. It’s a shame it had to end so soon. At this point, if you haven’t started reading it, I recommend getting the trade collection. Treat it like a miniseries. The ending is satisfying and closes the story in the manner of a planned miniseries, and I imagine this comic would be great to read in a collected format.
Final Score: 9/10