Untold Tales of the New Universe: Psi-Force #1
"An Army of One"
Cover Artist: Leonard Kirk and Baumann
Writer: Tony Bedard
Artist: Russell Braun
Colorist: Lee Loughridge
Letterer: ArtMonkeys' Dave Lanphear
Editor: Mark Paniccia
Gathered by agent Emmet Proudhawk, five teens with mental powers
share a mysterious bond. Combining their psionic power, they can
summon the Psi-Hawk, an entity greater than the sum of their parts.
But with Proudhawk murdered by agents who want to control them, the
Psi-Force team find that power is a curse. Now Proudhawk's long-lost
brother arrives, hounded by his own enemies, and the mighty Psi-Hawk
is about to meet its match!
32 PGS./T+ SUGGESTED FOR TEENS AND UP ...$2.99
Michael Proudhawk, cousin of Emmett Proudhawk, is called in to try to capture the kids of Psi-Force for the CIA. After assessing their powers by staging a fake KGB kidnapping, he tries to convince them -- using his powers -- to come work for him. Things don't work out and it comes down to Psi-Hawk vs. Psi-Hawk.
"Barf me out! No more geek-speak, Creepy!"
The story opens in "Afghanistan, 1987." According to the Official Timeline, Psi-Force #8 starts January 4, 1987, so the earliest this issue could take place is just before that issue. On the other end, Michael Crawley is still a member, so this issue can take place no later than just before Psi-Force Annual #1, where he leaves. That issue takes place between Psi-Force #12 and #13. However, Psi-Force spent issues #10-11 with Emmett Proudhawk's family. If they encountered Michael Proudhawk before that time, there's no doubt they would have mentioned him during their time there. Therefore, this story takes place sometime before or after Psi-Force #12.
Quite possibly it is Derek Shiningstar's actions in calling Michael Proudhawk back from Afghanistan that caused his eight-month censure mentioned in Psi-Force #24. Perhaps Michael Proudhawk finally recovering from his coma could even explain the re-appearance of Psi-Hawk in the Starblast crossover.
First, thank goodness the solicit is wrong and Michael Proudhawk is revealed as Emmett's cousin, not his brother. That would not have agreed with other stories about Emmett's family.
The problem with the whole Untold Tales event is that it has to walk a fine line. On the one hand, you have to tell an interesting enough story about the characters to make the issue worth buying. On the other, it can't be so spectacular that there's no way it never would have been mentioned back during the original run of the New Universe. I think this issue came about as close to that line as possible. Maybe it crossed over just a hair.
The highlight of the issue is the battle of the two Psi-Hawks. (And I'm trying really hard not to refer to it as "hot Psi-Hawk on Psi-Hawk action," but I can't seem to help myself.) This is just the kind of thing fans will think is cool, but is it too much? Would this really not have gotten mentioned again if it happened back in the '80s? I'm not sure, but I believe it's possible. Particularly since we leave the issue with Michael Proudhawk in a coma.
Overall, the characterization seems true and the story holds the reader's interest. I found the mention of Saddam Hussein and Mujahedeen Freedom Fighters a bit distracting given events since September 11th, 2001. That is, of course, why Bedard put it in, but it might have been a bit much. Other than that, I have no complaints about the issue and I recommend it.
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