The products of a secret, decades-long government experiment aimed at discovering humanity's next evolutionary stage, the young Next Men, imbued with strange abilities, woke up from their virtual-reality existence and escaped to the real world, where their real problems began. JOHN BYRNE'S NEXT MEN BOOK 6 - LIES collects issues #27-30, the last four issues of the Next Men comic book series, and brings to an abrupt close a chapter in the lives of Nathan, Bethany, Jasmine, and Danny - the Next Men. There's also an introduction by Frank Miller.
Writer/artist John Byrne tweaks the storyline again. Here, one of the Next Men, Jasmine, wakes up (again!) to a different reality, and it's one she's not sure she likes. These four issues also put the scheming and ruthless President Aldus Hilltop front and center (geez, this guy's really not likable). Byrne's other plot threads finally intersect with the main story arc as Mark Ivey (MIV) discloses a key revelation and time traveler Thomas Kirkland's true plans are finally revealed. We even learn the real origin of the evil life-force sucker Sathanas. However, the characters from Byrne's novel The Whipping Boy seem to have vanished (no big loss).
Even today I still have that feeling of disappointment, the same one I had years ago, when I first read these issues and then found out there wouldn't be any more for a while. "For a while" having lasted up to this point. Just so much potential's been wasted, so many Next Men stories we've been deprived of. This series was canned because of the comic book collapse in the mid-'90s and Byrne vowed he'd continue the Next Men's stories someday. Um, still waiting.
Thing is, there just wasn't any sense of closure. Byrne left his readers hanging in a monumental cliffhanger. Criminy, he even had the gall to introduce a new and mysterious character in the last issue (just who was that big-helmeted guy?). Aarrgh!
Okay, done venting. John Byrne's a stubborn cuz, but there's always hope, right? So, I'm hoping one day he'll have a change of heart, or be influenced by his muse, or be offered sick amounts of money, and he'll finally fill us in on just what exactly happened that fateful night at the White House. If you can stomach disappointment in knowing the story gets cut off, then I recommend this TPB. Hell, no matter what, I recommend it anyway. With John Byrne's Next Men Volume 5: Power and then going into this arc, Byrne seems to have been getting into a serious, serious groove. His readers were about to be in for some exciting times, before the death knell sounded on the series. But check this one out anyway, for Byrne's fantastic artwork and for his hell of a story, and then you can ponder the loss of what I believe would've been an all-time classic comic book.