By Zack Quaintance — Despite plans for additional issues (one of which already had a cover started by Yanick Paquette), The Unexpected will be ending in January with issue number eight, making it the second book (following Immortal Men) from DC’s New Age of Heroes publishing initiative to be concluded. This, obviously, is not ideal, given the initiative started this same year. I’m certainly disappointed. I’ve said this on Twitter before, but I’ll repeat it again: I can see myself years from now talking comics somewhere and insisting that the New Age of Heroes was actually really cool, and it could have even been great if it had all been handled a bit differently.
I won’t go into what my thoughts on that here (track me down in a decade for the full brunt of it), because this is, after all, a review of The Unexpected #6, but I do think the impending finale of the book is a lens this comic should be viewed through. With all that in mind, this issue features more of what I’ve liked so far about this series: big time superheroics (SPOILER: this one features a million trapped souls badassedly erupting from the villainous Synn as he battles Hawkman, thereby tearing the former apart), complex character drama, and a whole lot of swagger. Knowing that there are only two installments left, however, does change my perspective on all that.
Whereas before I’d been viewing this book as a story building towards a permanent team dynamic, it now feels like a mini-series about a particularly intense few days in the lives of our leads. Really, I think that may be for the best. For a few issues now, The Unexpected has shone brightest during combat (which has been all but constant), never having even a few spare moments to clearly establish situations where the heroes of the story could have quiet moments together. Now with the end in sight, it doesn’t have to concern itself with any of that; The Unexpected is free to be a combination of a street fight and far out multiversal Grant Morrison sensibilities, which is an interesting combination, to be sure.
What I liked best about The Unexpected #6, though, was the manifestation of a couple of long-simmering twists I always suspected were coming. To discuss these even further would be to reveal a bit too much about the issue. Here’s hoping the final two installments of this story are brimming with madcap action sequences.
Overall: The Unexpected #6 is yet another continuation of the one large set piece that this book has become. With the end now in sight, the story starts to maybe prematurely wrap things up for its heroes. 8.0/10
The Unexpected #6
Writer: Steve Orlando
Artist: Ronan Cliquet
Colorist: Jeromy Cox
Letterer: Carlos M. Mangual
Publisher: DC Comics
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Zack Quaintance is a tech reporter by day and freelance writer by night/weekend. He Tweets compulsively about storytelling and comics as BatmansBookcase. He also writes comics and is currently working hard to complete one.