The Twelve #2 (Marvel – Straczynski / Weston / Leach / Chuckry) – The Twelve time-lost Mystery Men of World War II adjust to the reality of life in the 21st century. But where do you go, what do you do, when everybody you knew is either dead and buried or in old-age homes, and the future you thought you were fighting for turned out to be radically different from what you imagined?
There is a phenomenon when it comes to out-of-the-box comic projects, they usually come in groups. Right now the concept is heroes from the fifties being displaced and lost in today’s world with the individual projects on the scene being the return of The Invaders, Project: Superpowers and The Twelve.
Even while having the legendary writer J. Michael Straczynski attached to it and being the project that is the farthest along of the three, The Twelve still does not have the hype it deserves. The story is more or less told from the point of view of one the displaced mystery men, The Phantom Reporter. Through his eyes we watch these twelve wake up into a foreign world and embrace it to various degrees. What is refreshing about this book is that the creative team does a great job of giving the reader what they aren’t expecting. It’s not just about these heroes finding their way in a new and changed world, but it’s about them dealing with a lifetime lost and the changing schema of Americana in the last fifty years and the difference of views in social issues ranging from racism to patriotism. Throw into that mix, the plot twist that now someone is taking out the Twelve one by one, you get a book that is one part Heroes, one part classic melodrama and one part Watchmen. The art, story-telling and look of this book gives a great feel for this updated modern day pulp story.