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'The Great Ten' #1 of 10 Reviewed!

How does the first issue measure up?

How does the first issue measure up?

 

  
'The Great Ten' #1 of 10
Written by: Tony Bedard
Art by: Scott McDaniel
 
You may remember 'The Great Ten's' first appearance in DC's '52' approximately three years ago. They have officially returned and been given their own ten issue series which highlights both their origins as a team, as well as each individual team member's back story. However, it seems that this may have been a part of the problem with this first issue. Only so many aspects of any story can be told at one time, and the primary problem I personally had with this book was the fact that far too much was happening at once. Bedard outlines (very briefly) China's political relationship with Tibet, which seems to be at the core of the conflict that the members of 'The Great Ten' will be forced to confront. It seems somewhat presumptuous to assume that the reader will be versed in China's socio-political history, but this is exactly how it reads in the beginning. While the concept of using real life Chinese socio-political issues to enhance the story is inherently brilliant, the writer could have done a far better job of integrating these issues into the actual plot of the story rather than assuming that we all have a background on the history of Communist China. 
 
There are ten team members, and this happens to be issue one of ten. There is a small focus on the 'Accomplished Perfect Physician's' character, so I must assume that each issue will focus on each individual member and tell his or her back story in addition to telling the story of their journey to becoming a member of 'The Great Ten.' The book seems to jump around a lot as well, going from "12 years ago" to the "present" and back again, with little to no transition; essentially disrupting the natural flow of the story.
 
Reflecting on the book as a whole, it could have been better organized (I blame editing) and this first issue could have dealt less with the story of the 'Accomplished Perfect Physician,' and more the story of the team as a whole as well as more historical overview since it seems to be such a crucial aspect of the overall plot.  The art was okay, I have seen better. 
 
2.5 out of 5
17 Comments
Posted by Nighthunter

I love the concept of the Great Ten

Edited by No_Name_
@Nighthunter said:

" I love the concept of the Great Ten "
 

Me too:
 While the concept of using real life Chinese socio-political issues to enhance the story is inherently brilliant, the writer could have done a far better job of integrating these issues into the actual plot of the story

Posted by iLLituracy

Marvel has a couple of Chinese teams, but none of the teams have their own books. The Chinese team that comes to mind since it's the one I've read about most recently was the one that appeared in Mighty Avengers called the People's Defense Force. There was that one that appeared in X-Men that was based on the Eight Immortals during Austen's run.
 
I was thinking about picking this up, but I figured that the team had this long history seeing as how my DC knowledge is limited to Batman, basically. But since they seem relatively new I guess I'll check it out.

Posted by FoxxFireArt

This is the first time in a long time that I haven't had to crank up my volume in order to hear you. Though your lighting was a bit dark.
 
Oh, Sun Tzu. Probably the greatest military strategist ever known. His teaching apply to so many aspects outside of warfare. The History Channel had a great special on his teaching. Comparing them to known war history.
The story of China and Tibet's relationship is......convoluted at best. China is a communist country that outlaws all religion with the exception of their "state sponsored"religion. So it figures they would come to a head with Tibet and the Dalia Lama and it's Buddhist beliefs. China was the country that forbid the Harry Potter movies on the grounds it would corrupt the youth.

This strikes me as a project that is not best served as individual books, but more as an over all package. Since it's going to be split into ten separate issues. Seems that this might be a better buy as a Trade Paper Back, and you can have the whole experience before you. The art in the samples didn't seem all that impressive. Kind of sad when you consider how lush China and Tibet can be as a setting.
Taking into consideration something you mentioned about how some people might not be so familiar with the relationship of the countries. Perhaps that is something this book is working to do. Educate a younger audience who might have become disconnected with the events.
 
You know, you are being very Sun Tzu in your analysis on the editing being to blame, Babs. He believed commanders had to be responsible for their soldiers actions, but when it comes to comics. Who do you define as the general, commander, and soldiers?
 
It was a nice review. Thanks for the work....and the random insight to your hair follicle issues. lol

Posted by Comiclove5

Sounds Great which I could add this to my pulllist.
Posted by Grim

 lots of like here. guess ill pick it up next time im in store....    

Posted by TheBug

 
The idea sounds interesting,but I'm not a fan of the creative team. 

Posted by waruikumo

I was wondering when Bedard came up with the names did he back into them. I assumed (hoped) he did, since there's no real other reason to have such convoluted names. 
 
That said I did like the issue, Art wasn't a huge draw, I agree with babs that it plays very fast and loose trying to catch up the back grounds of the characters, I don't remember how much morrison spent developing their character dynamics. 
 
I was also gonna say I liked the different hair style to, 

Posted by phoenixguard

Sounds like this series could have greatly benefited from a Prelude / Issue 0.

Posted by Nighthunter
@waruikumo said:
" I was wondering when Bedard came up with the names did he back into them. I assumed (hoped) he did, since there's no real other reason to have such convoluted names.  That said I did like the issue, Art wasn't a huge draw, I agree with babs that it plays very fast and loose trying to catch up the back grounds of the characters, I don't remember how much morrison spent developing their character dynamics.  I was also gonna say I liked the different hair style to,  "
Bedard didn't come up with the names, Morrison did as they are his inventions. The reason the names sound strange is because in order to not make them sound too much like american superheroes Morrison grabbed various aspects of China's culture and history and then came up with them, the names are the direct translation of chinese
Edited by burr787

I really hope that after Great Ten is done we get a Great Ten/Super young team book done by Grant Morrison or Joe Casey since he did a pretty good job in FCA: Dance. It is great that DC is doing more international books. After Asia is done I want a Knight and Squire mini followed by a League of Batmen mini.

Posted by DMC

I don't think it wouldn't seem that bad if the cover didn't look so good.  
Don't ya hate it when they do that?

Posted by Nighthunter

I sure do

Posted by Media_Master

Cool concept, but if it is going to jump all over the place, than I'll have to pass on this sadly...

Posted by The Sanguine Psychotic
@Media_Master said:
" Cool concept, but if it is going to jump all over the place, than I'll have to pass on this sadly... "
Yes, and you should never, ever watch a Tarantino movie, or The Watchmen or Sin City or [insert awesome title here]...
 
Personally I loved the book.  I wasn't a huge fan of the art, but it grew on me as I read, like a cheese-consuming mold.  How else would you introduce a whole team of super-heroes?  I give Bedard credit for forcing American readers to come to grips with something that the rest of the world already knows: WE ARE HORRIBLY IGNORANT OF WORLD CULTURES.  For me there was a lot of an 'oh neat' factor when the sparingly few characters were revealed in this book, what their powers were, etc.  I think the creative team putting this together is doing an excellent job using real-life events (Beijing Olympics, Tienanmen Square, Tibet) to weave a story, and having characters introduced an issue at a time while telling an encompassing story (see 'Band of Brothers').
 
AND since I'm a Marvel guy, I was glad to see they didn't piggy-back any of the DC Pantheon into the story at all.  Hopefully, that stays the case.  I give this one a 4.2 out of five, and I'm looking forward to the next nine.
Posted by xerox_kitty

Shaolin Robot?!  Okay, who at DC is an old KROQ listener!?  That was a name of an intern from a few years ago... :p 
 
Anyway, I'm guessing that this will be a better story when read as a whole, instead of one month at a time.  

Moderator
Edited by NightFang

I love that DC is making a real China's superheroes and mixing it with Chinese history and politics.