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REVIEW: Dark Horse Comics' The Ones #1

CBR logo CBR 9/22/2022 Sergio Pereira
© Provided by CBR

Writer Brian Michael Bendis has serious superhero credentials, having shaped and been at the helm of some of the biggest comic book series for both Marvel and DC. Now, with artist Jacob Edgar, colorist K. J. Díaz, and letterer Joshua Reed, they're collaborating on a new comedic superhero book for Dark Horse Comics. Due out in November, The Ones takes a trope that the audience will know all too well and reinvigorates it with an unexpected and hilarious premise.

The issue explains that there are multiple "chosen ones" in the multiverse. While each of them is told they're the singular hero to save the world, it turns out that only one of them is right. To make matters worse, the true "chosen one" seems to have some nefarious plans. Now, the ones need to stand united to defeat this singular force that threatens the very existence of humankind. In theory, they're still the chosen ones, but the details of the prophecy are not quite what they expected.

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The "chosen one" narrative is one of the most overused tropes in fiction. Bendis and Edgar know this. They lean into it and squeeze out an original premise where it may have seemed impossible. More importantly, it's laugh-until-there's-a-coughing-fit funny, as The Ones #1 poses the fascinating question: What if all the "chosen ones" were actually meant to band together to stop the real "chosen one" who happens to be evil? Naturally, it gets even more entertaining when all these unique personalities and egos are shoved into a group and forced to work together. The first issue already delivers a ton of chuckles, but it's easy to see that this is only the beginning of the shenanigans.Edgar's cartoonish style is all over the book's DNA. It's a welcoming and soothing aesthetic that's easy on the eye and isn't too overpowering for readers who are new to the medium. While it's still early days in The Ones, don't be surprised if this story is turned into an animated show in the near future since its charming narrative and art are likely to inspire networks to get into a bidding war over the property.

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Complementing Edgar's drawings are Díaz's vibrant colors. Even in the darker moments of the book, it never feels gritty or gloomy, as the contrast and hues bring a certain level of comfort to the reader. Think of the beloved Batman: The Animated Series as a good comparison. Reed's lettering further adds to the cartoon style of the book, as it serves the art in an understated but effective way. While there's certainly room for experimentation in lettering, keeping it simple works for this type of book.

As far as first issues go, The Ones #1 hits it out of the park. It manages to introduce the main characters and delivers a handful of hilarious moments that promise a light-hearted approach to super heroics. This is one title that comic book readers should be asking their stores to order and add to their pull list immediately.

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