The Hypernaturals may be the greatest teenage super team of the future, with legacy heroes and powers, but they’re currently in complete disarray, with many members missing and presumed dead. Their roles are filled by returning old members and recruits who previously only just failed to make the cut. Were it not for the fact that he’s imprisoned beyond communication, their problems would seem to be down to their greatest enemy Sublime, so is it him, or just someone using his methods?

Given that the opening volume was a resounding thrill rush, there’s little reason for writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning to mess with the formula. Each of the four chapters opens with a glimpse back into the past shining a light onto one of the team members and their culture, expansively drawn by Andres Guinaldo, while Tom Derenick illustrates the continuation of the present day events as they escalate.

What began as a clever variation of the Legion of Super-Heroes is revealed as a whole lot more. Sure, the foundation is technobabble, but the emotional foundation is strong because we learn about all the major players and their motivations in the short sequences. It does mean some fade into the background, but that’s inevitable with a large cast, and the full importance of what we’ve been told about in passing during those sequences drops into place. A rich conceptual density is par for the course, the truth about teleportation opening up a whole mess of trauma, among other interesting side comments.

By the end of this volume it seems that at least the pieces have fallen into place, but it’s a smart superhero series, meaning Abnett and Lanning surely have more surprises in store for the conclusion on Volume Three.