Full disclosure right up front. Christopher “Chris” Jones is a friend that I see at the Midwest Comic Book Association cons in Minnesota, and we’ve known each other for about a decade. We talk on Facebook, but I’ve never had him over for dinner or helped him move, so that’s made clear our level of friendship.
Not…I mean…it’s not like I’d deny him dinner if he was in town.
Chris has been making a name for himself as the go-to guy at DC Comics for comic books based on animated series. From various Batman animated-style books to “Young Justice,” Chris has expertly captured the varying animated styles. Because he’s a cartoony-style artist, right?
Actually…no. He’s got a lot of art muscles he hasn’t been able to show off with his Cartoon Network assignments, and the new sci-fi book “Parallel Man” allows him to showcase his l33t skillz.
“Parallel Man” tells the story of one alternate Earth (The Ascendancy) that has decided to invade other alternate Earths to loot their resources and enslave their populations, and one renegade, Agent Morgan, who has other plans. This first issue involves a chase sequence on floating bikes that takes place across several alternate Earths.
The science fiction isn’t really anything new to comics, where alternate Earths go back to the days of Gardner Fox, but the specifics of the premise are intriguing. The action is exciting without being too violent. Reading this, I began to realize how warped my expectations have gotten from the last 10 years of reading the increasingly gruesome violence of the DC Universe. In one scene, the Ascendency grabs two suspects and I was surprised to see that it didn’t include a bloody execution! (I hope that isn’t a spoiler.) That’s actually rather refreshing. It hearkens back to the days when comics were beautiful and action packed without death and dismemberment left and right.
Even if the story doesn’t trip your trigger, it is worth it for the art alone. Chris gets to invent whole new worlds every few pages. After a decade of needing to stick on-model for every TV imitation comic he was doing, it must feel good to cut loose…and I think it shows on the page.
You can order Parallel Man: Invasion America in comics shops right now with Diamond code Aug141505. Parallel Man #1 hits shelves October 8, 2014. It will also be on Comixology.