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Next Men #3 Review

4 min read

Forced to watch her friends, Bethany can’t believe the cruelty they face across time.

What They Say:
Were you wondering what happened to Bethany? Find out this issue, as another layer is removed from the mystery-and perhaps another is added!

The Review:
As much as I love Next Men, it’s a book that definitely requires a lot of effort. And it’s difficult since it has been years since I last read the original series, so that disconnect makes it harder. With the main cast being thrown to the four winds of time, with Danny in the age of dinosaurs, Antonia in the slave era, Jasmine in not so merry old England and Nathan caught up in a concentration camp in World War II Germany, they’re all doing very, very poorly. And Bethany, stuck in a room of black and white that seems endless is now being forced to watch it by a mystery man in an armor suit that can withstand her attacks. What makes it worse is the way he keeps saying that they betrayed her without telling her how or why, leaving her to fill in the blanks with her imagination while trying to not believe it.

While the first few issues have given us a look at some of these characters in separate spaces, this one runs through all of them and advances their own plots as Bethany watches on, being teased about getting answer yet finding only more questions in the end. Nathan’s coming across Jorgensen in the camp is a shock to him but it’s something he can recover from after a bit and use in an attempt to escape. But as is pointed out, escape from the experimentation lab leads only to the rest of the concentration camp itself and he’s pretty obvious with how he stands out no matter what he tries. Jasmine’s a bit better off though her time with Edward as he writes works that are attributed to Shakespeare causes her to fight against her feelings towards him, though she wants to give in. It’s a classic old style romance in a way as she fights against temptation but ultimately gives in. And still offers up a tantalizing bit about what happened to her before this event.

Antonia’s story is one that’s really fun to watch as it plays out in two ways. The first puts her in the past where she’s now been discovered to be teaching slaves to read and that has the owner getting plenty upset and ready to cause trouble with her. It’s a tense time there but it’s portrayed well to let the sense of it come across. At the same time, we get the scenes in the present as the church is excavated more and they’ve found the tomb she was encased in, which leads to its own mysteries and revelations, such as Father Jack using strength that he hasn’t used in years to lift the casket with the blessing of Father John. The tantalizing ties from past to present works well as you want to understand more of it, which is what can be said about all of these storylines and how it’s going to come together for the big reveal.

In Summary:
With Bethany now in the role of an observer, we’re able to see more stories at once and that definitely helps since it’s through a different context. Each of them has had a lto to offer from the start and I’ve enjoyed watching them unfold since the series started up again, but certain parts of it need to start coming together more so it can really move forward and make sense. It has a lot to offer and Byrne’s artwork continues to make me smile as he works through all these periods with different characters with a great sense of style. The story may be frustrating in the big picture sense, but the individual tales are engaging and the combination of that with his artwork allows it to succeed by teasing even as it obliquely answers a question or two.

Grade: B