I was extremely happy to see this series collected and given the Marvel hardcover treatment. I personally think this is Marvel’s best limited series from the past decade, at least out of those that were intended to be limited. This one almost went the Sonic Disruptors/All Winners Squad: Band of Heroes route and didn’t get finished, which would’ve been a damned shame.
The Twelve is the story of ten World War II-era mystery men, one mystery woman, and a robot who ended up in suspended animation during the fall of Berlin, only to be discovered and awoken in the present day. The tale follows the group’s attempts to try and get back into society, in a world that has drastically changed in sixty-five years.
Most of these characters only appeared once or twice in the old Timely/Marvel golden age comics, so anyone outside of a comic book expert has a blank slate to experience. I think the character with the most page time before this series was Electro, the robot who plays a pivotal role in several subplots in the story.
The art is by Chris Weston, who is never afraid to make people look like, well, people. I enjoyed his work on Grant Morrison’s The Filth series, and he shines here. J. Michael Straczynski, one of the pop sensations of the current crop of comic book writers, provides a masterful script that has pretty much everything a comic book reader would want.
I would really like to see these characters brought into the Marvel NOW Universe, since they’ve all gone back into stagnation since the series ended. I suppose that’s a pipe dream, since unless the character’s slinging a shield today, the Golden Age is a long forgotten memory for the average comic book fan. Again, it’s a damned shame, since The Twelve are great characters – fully-realized and believable.
I would give this volume, or the two trade paperbacks that it is also available as, my highest recommendation.