Nextwave #11. Art by Stuart Immonen. The cover parodies Marvel's Civil War.
|Publication date||March 2006 – February 2007|
|No. of issues||12|
|Main character(s)||Dirk Anger|
|Created by||Warren Ellis|
|Written by||Warren Ellis|
|This Is What They Want||ISBN 0-7851-2278-8|
|I Kick Your Face||ISBN 0-7851-2855-7|
|Ultimate Collection||ISBN 0-7851-4461-7|
The series was written exclusively in two-issue story arcs. Each issue began with a humorous FAQ, in which questions were answered with enthusiastic marketing copy that veers into the strange or disturbing. It was also used to answer questions posed by uninformed readers.
The Nextwave series features a collection of minor Marvel superheroes: monster hunter Elsa Bloodstone; Monica Rambeau, the former Captain Marvel; Tabitha Smith, formerly of X-Force; Aaron Stack, the Machine Man; and new character the Captain, previously called Captain ☠☠☠☠ (the obscured words being so horrible that Captain America allegedly "beat seven shades of it out of [him]" and left him in a dumpster with a bar of soap in his mouth). These individuals are assembled by H.A.T.E., the Highest Anti-Terrorism Effort, to fight Unusual Weapons of Mass Destruction (U.W.M.D.s). The Nextwave team learns that H.A.T.E. is funded by the Beyond Corporation©, an organization formerly known as terrorist group S.I.L.E.N.T. As a result, the heroes leave H.A.T.E., stealing a vehicle called the Shockwave Rider. They destroy the U.W.M.D.s that the Beyond Corporation and H.A.T.E. have hidden around the United States, while being pursued by H.A.T.E. Director Dirk Anger, a parody of Nick Fury. The U.W.M.D.s include Fin Fang Foom, Broccoli Men, Ultra Samurai, and the Mindless Ones. Using the Shockwave Rider as a mobile base of operations (the vehicle is larger on the inside than out, much like the TARDIS of Doctor Who), Nextwave is able to rapidly mount missions in widely separated locations including central Illinois, Wyoming, North Dakota, and Nevada.
Nextwave consistently features extreme violence and comedy, and simultaneously satirizes and celebrates Marvel's superhero comics. The series frequently uses flashback scenes in which existing Marvel characters such as Captain America, Ulysses Bloodstone and the Celestials act grossly out of character for comedic purposes. In an interview, Ellis said, "I took The Authority and I stripped out all the plots, logic, character and sanity." "It's an absolute distillation of the superhero genre. No plot lines, characters, emotions, nothing whatsoever. It's people posing in the street for no good reason. It is people getting kicked, and then exploding. It is a pure comic book, and I will fight anyone who says otherwise. And afterwards, they will explode."
In a 2005 interview, writer Warren Ellis commenting on his Nextwave stories stated, "I think it has to be a self contained universe. It takes from Marvel history, but I wouldn't necessarily want to drag mainstream Marvel into it for fear of what I would do to it." In 2006, Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada stated that "for the time being" Nextwave was to be considered set in a universe separate from the main Marvel continuity. In contradiction to these earlier statements, Marvel publications such as Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe and Civil War: Battle Damage Report seemed to portray Nextwave's activities as occurring in the mainstream Marvel continuity. To further complicate matters, Nextwave's entry in Civil War: Battle Damage Report states: "Recent intelligence suggests some or all Nextwave members unknowingly had their memories and/or personalities altered by their new employers (H.A.T.E.)." In Captain America and the Mighty Avengers, it is definitively stated that Nextwave happened, with the Beyond Corporation, now revealed to be members of The Beyonders returning, and tauntingly telling Luke Cage and Jessica Jones to ask Monica about "Beyond", making her realize those events were, in fact, real, and reverting to her Nextwave outfit.
Nextwave debuted in 2006 and was cancelled after issue #12, which was published in February 2007. The run of the series was written by Warren Ellis, drawn by Stuart Immonen and colored by Dave McCaig. Warren Ellis (on his website) stated in October 2006 that he had initially planned to write the series for twelve issues, then pass it off to another writer. However the initial plan was changed and the series was placed on hiatus until Ellis should choose to return. According to Ellis, this was at least partly because monthly sales could not justify keeping artist Stuart Immonen on the project at his then current pay rate. Ellis has stated that "there will be more Nextwave to come, presented as a sequence of limited series."
Starting with issue #3, Marvel had changed the series title to Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. Artist Stuart Immonen has stated that the title change was due to trademark issues.
A variant edition of issue #5, called the "Crayon Butchery Variant", was printed in black and white on newsprint. Marvel (through the website Comic Book Resources) encouraged readers to color the issue with crayons and enter the results, for a chance to win original artwork from the issue. The winner was announced in the letter column of the tenth issue. Issue #11 contains a series of splash pages that Warren Ellis and Stuart Immonen devised so that in order to get the full impact of the scene, a reader might have to purchase six copies. On the last of the pages, a caption reads, "Nextwave: Blatantly wasting your money since 2006."
A theme song was created by series editor Nick Lowe and his brother Matt, by their band Thunder Thighs. It was advertised on their Myspace page and lyrics printed in the "Director's Cut" edition of the first issue. The tabs and lyrics are also in the Volume 1 hardcover collected edition.
The series has been collected into a number of volumes:
- Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. Volume 1 – This Is What They Want (2006), collects issues #1–6
- Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. Volume 2 – I Kick Your Face (2007), collects issues #7–12
A version of the team appears in the Marvel Zombies universe in Marvel Zombies vs. The Army of Darkness where they engage in battle with the infected superheroes. They are killed off-panel by the infected Power Pack.
The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) has released their Best of 2007 lists and Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. were named among the 2007 Top Ten Great Graphic Novels for Teens. Nextwave writer Warren Ellis was happy to learn of the title's recognition by YALSA, saying, "I do it all for the children." In keeping with the off-beat humor of his book, Ellis added, "It is good to know that the young people of today are ready and waiting for me to form a Church."
Nextwave also won three Eagle Awards for Favourite New Comicbook, Favourite Comics Story Published During 2006 (for issues #1-6), and Favourite Comics Villain (for Dirk Anger).
- Nextwave #1 (March 2006)
- Gatevackes, William (March 16, 2006). "Nextwave #1". PopMatters.com. Retrieved February 3, 2011.
- Nextwave #1-2
- Nextwave #5-6
- "Wizard Universe chat session". Archived from the original on 2006-07-06.
- "Heroes Con 06 Q&A session".[permanent dead link]
- Contino, Jennifer M. (December 8, 2005). "Ellis Talks Nextwave & Ultimate Extinction". Comic-Con International. Archived from the original on October 13, 2007.
- Gum, Wade (July 1, 2006). "Heroes Con: Joe Quesada Panel". Wizard. Archived from the original on July 11, 2007.
- Flamini, Anthony, Ronald Byrd (w), Kolins, Scott (a). Civil War: Battle Damage Report 1 (March 2007), Marvel Comics
- Captain America and the Mighty Avengers #6
- "Warren Ellis' Bad Signal: 'The Things'". Archived from the original on 2007-03-23.
- "Nextwave: The News". WarrenEllis.com.
- "Drawing Board forum (Immonen posts as 'Killdozer')". Archived from the original on 2007-03-13.
- "NextWave theme song" (MP3).
- "NEXTWAVE" at MusicBrainz
- Marvel Zombies vs. the Army of Darkness #3
- "2007 Top Ten Great Graphic Novels for Teens". YALSA. Archived from the original on 2010-04-03.
- "Runaways and Nextwave Named to YALSA's Top 10 Graphic Novels of '07". Comics News, Reviews & Discussions. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27.
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