It’s dramatic. It’s erratic. We’re eight weeks into this series ($23.92 if you’re keeping track…I am) and boy, is this a slow build. There are so many stories to be told in 20 pages that each one is taking micro steps toward its final goal. I’m going to take a broad look at each of the narratives and place a spoiler tag with what you need to know should you decide not to buy this issue.
- Cadmus Island — Faraday and Deathstroke converse about Grifter who is walking around the island with Fifty Sue. The inks are a bit heavy on the faces for my taste but that isn’t the big stink of this section. We are essentially thirty minutes further in a story that has very little going on with it. We get to watch Fifty Sue and Grifter bond as well. SpoilerWe’re told Faraday has confidence in Grifter’s changing abilities. Faraday has a source close to Grifter. At one point during their discussion Faraday tells Deathstroke that something is on a “need to know” basis, then thanks Deathstroke for giving him a reason to use that phrase. But he just got done using the “need to know” phrase repeatedly with Grifter. Also, prepared to be wowed by Fifty Sue’s powers, I guess. We know she’s powerful with bratty attitude from a past issue and we’re shown both attributes again.
- Lois Lane — Poor Lois is given just one page in this issue. Not enough happens to spoil anything, so no tags. This section only serves to remind us that Lois has a box of mysterious stuff and we need to believe it’s important. In fact, it’s so important that she’s going to book a plane using her credit card. I couldn’t help but think of Heath Ledger’s Joker saying, “Not. One. Bit.” when Lois declares, “Book. The. Plane.” It’s a bit over dramatic.
- Columbia University Lab — Jason is staying away from his other half and working with Dr. Yamazake on a transporter for public use. We’re given somewhat of a back story for the good ‘ole doc. They test out their machine. SpoilerIt blows up and Dr. Yamazake just walks out. The place is on fire and with lowered head and a little anger he just walks out. Jason is visited by a masked Superman wanting to know where Firestorm has been. Jason is still tore up from last we saw of him and he has no intention of getting back with Ronnie.
- Palmer and crew — They finally get to the place where Stormwatch was destroyed. Their investigation proves two things. 1) Two members of the Stormwatch team are missing and Ray Palmer too has a flair for the dramatic. SpoilerApollo and the Engineer are missing. Ray Palmer uses Lady Amethyst’s sword to chop off Hawkman’s arm for replace the one Frankenstein lost.
- The Creature on the Cover — SpoilerBasically, they introduce the guy. He was found in a temple of a god. He murders those that found the temple but we don’t know any more about him.
- Constantine — Again, another one pager. Midge and Constantine are sleeping together when Midge wakes up from dreaming about the spoiler above. Like most everything else in this issue, this segment is meant just to tell us how bad it’s going to get. Man, I hope something bad happens soon because all this talk about how awful or mysterious or powerful things are is about to get to me.
- You want a complete collection
- You want to see a few more pictures of the guy on the cover
- You’re in it for the long run
There isn’t much going on this issue. I’m struggling to keep justify buying each issue. The problem with so many narratives in a 20 page comic is that nothing gets the attention it needs. Any issue of Batman: Black and White is so much more interesting than this; but that series isn’t limited to telling one cohesive story. It’s a trade off. Then again buying a comic is a trade off: my money for that comic. So unless you’ve got to see it for yourself (and I’m kinda one of those) you could pass on this issue.