Written by James Tynion IV
Pencils and Inks by Tyler Kirkham
Color by Arif Prianto
Cover by Jim Lee, Alex Sinclair, and Scott Williams
I went into The Immortal Men #4 without reading the 3 issues that preceded it, as I wanted to see if I was able to hop into the book mid-arc and decipher what was going on. What I learned is that The Immortal Men are lead by a man named Klarn, whose story begins over 50,000 years ago, when man was new and the world was still taking shape.
Klarn was a member of the Bear Clan, one of the original five tribes of men, his people were hunter / gatherers, but they were also fierce warriors whose main focus was finding enough food to get them by till the next day. On one fateful day, all this would change, as Klarn’s sister Kyra told him of a falling light in the sky, and the importance of their clan getting to this light before the neighboring clans.
When Klarn’s tribe arrived at the impact site, the radiation of the meteorite forever changed Klarn and his tribe, making them all immortal. Eventually, the five members of the tribe would learn how to grant certain humans with a lesser form of their immortality. The tribe then decided to take it upon themselves to guide and shepherd mankind’s growth.
Over the years, the five members of the bear clan would all go their separate ways, each teaching humanity different principles. In Alexendria, a member would fuel the flame of knowledge, In Gaula Kyra a member preached bloody conquest, in Bodh Gaya a member choose to enlighten the world with Harmony, in Vatican City a member embraced expression and lastly in Harlem Klarn saw it best to lead mankind through action.
When you consider this is the fourth book in the series, it was refreshing to see that this issue was able to catch me up to speed by giving just enough backstory to know what’s going on. I found the pencil and ink work here to be the stand out as far as the artwork is concerned, and I thought the character design of the two main villains were both pretty badass looking.
Throughout the pages of this issue I learned to care about Klarn and the new companions he fights alongside in the present day. Having only read this one issue, I wasn’t able to get a full understanding on the rest of Klarn’s team, although a stand out member of the Immortals to me is a young man named Caden.
On the surface Caden appears to be a normal man in his early twenties, but the deeper you travel through the story, you notice that he has an ability to gain the memories of people he touches. This allows Caden to understand his teammates by feeling their memories as they did. This touch power also enables Caden to quickly learn any skill or fighting technique the person he touches possesses. I see Caden as a mix between Rogue from the X-Men and Neo from the Matrix, which I think the writers were going for as Caden even says “Keanu, eat your freaking heart out” after he learned kung fu from his teammate Ghost Fist. Clearly a nod to Keanu Reeves role as Neo in the Matrix series.
Ultimately I think the best part of this issue is the artwork, especially the pencil and ink work of colorist Arif Prianto. I liked the artwork’s dark and detailed aesthetic, the expressive facial reactions, and brutal fight scenes. Without reading the first three issues I was a bit lost, but that’s totally a fault of my own, so I’d suggest starting with issue one of the series if you’re looking to read this story through. The shocking twist ending is enough for me to want to read the next issue, even if only just to answer a question raised at the story’s end.
I give issue #4 of the Immortal men, 2.5 James Tynion’s out of 4
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