The Ones Volume 1 – a witty send-up of a classic hero trope.

From bestselling comic author and superhero extraordinaire Brian Michael Bendis comes a new superhero team with a witty twist in The Ones. Every single person in every mythology that was told they were THE ONE are brought together for the first time to defeat…. THE ONE. The actual one. The real actual one. But what happens when there are several ONES? Enough to fill out an entire group.

As far as superhero writers go, Bendis is one of the most experienced working in the genre – not to mention having several major comic awards to his name. He has over a decade’s worth of work at Marvel on titles such as Ultimate Spider-Man, Daredevil, New Avengers, The Illuminati and All-New X-Men as well as several titles for DC. This time, he takes a familiar concept – the chosen one – and presents it with a satirical slant.

We all know the trope of “The Chosen One” – an all-powerful warrior destined for greatness. In this series, we get a whole group of chosen ones who are selected to face off against a chosen one who is inclined towards evil. But Bendis amps this up further by having this team be anything but functional. When you have a group of heroes who are all told that they are chosen ones, egos are bound to run rampant. This – along with the rather confusing nature of their task at hand – leads to some massive failures when it comes to functioning as a team. By the end of the first chapter, The Ones are no closer to achieving their goal.

There are many superhero deconstructions out there which by and large take a dark cynical approach. It’s an easy avenue to go down when you consider the success of comics like Watchmen and The Boys. But Bendis and artist Jacob Edgar manage to present a fresh parody of a classic hero trope without falling into the cynical trap which is harder than one would believe.

Speaking of art, Edgar creates a vibrant feel throughout the book with a cartoony style reminiscent of Bruce Timm and Darwyn Cooke. It helps enhance the more comedic direction the story takes and again keeps the comic out of the darker elements that can potentially arise with superhero parodies or deconstructions. Beyond that, Edgar excels in all situations, whether it be action or comedy.

This is a fun take on the superhero genre that goes in a refreshing direction. Readers looking for a send-up of superhero tropes that doesn’t take itself too seriously will find lots to enjoy.

The Ones is out 22 August from Dark Horse (9781506729916, p/b, £22.99)

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