Why? This might be the question you ask yourself after reading this book. Why did I buy this?…why did I read this?…why did they make this?……..why does Harper look like a man?
Most of the time, I get the impression that a comic starts with a writer brainstorming an idea that forms into a story that they actually want to tell. This felt a lot more like DC had a slot that needed to be filled and thrust a writer into position in order to fill it, whether they had something relevant to contribute or not. If this issue were somewhere in the middle of an ongoing story arc I would absolutely call it filler, but this is even worse than that. It is a stand alone issue that feels like filler, but filler to nothing! It is completely skippable! So I am recommending that you not even bother with it. I’m not even saying this as a critic. I’m saying this as a person, and from one person to another, I am asking you to save your time and your money.
I usually don’t just lay out a synopsis in my reviews ( I think I have only done it 3 times), but for those of you who have not read it yet, a synopsis might help you decide on whether you should purchase the book or not. The story opens up with Lonnie Machin surrounded by a horde of Joker zombies, called “gigglers”, trying to reach his mother. Try to think of this book like a Joker zombie apocalypse; the “gigglers” are everywhere. Lonnie manages to run away when they start chasing him and is saved by a kid named Dax. Dax takes Lonnie to some school, where they meet up with Dax’s friends, Dre and Riko. There, Lonnie who is still looking for his mom, hacks into the video surveillance cameras of the strip club where she works, finds out she is still there and heads out to rescue her. He is shortly joined by his new friends once they figure out where he ran off to. They magically run into the entire Batfamily who assign Spoiler to help them out in rescuing Lonnie’s mother. Lonnie suggests that if they spray paint a red smile on some white masks it might scare away the “gigglers” surrounding the strip club. It works! Lonnie hugs his mom. The end.
If that synopsis did not deter you, then let me give you some more food for thought as I dig into some of the more gripe worthy parts of the book. First, there is nothing about this story that made it better due to the inclusion of Lonnie. You could have substituted any John Smith or Jane Doe in his place and it would have played out just the same. Sure, he picked a lock with an app on his phone and hacked a security camera, but that was completely incidental and didn’t need to occur for the sake of the plot. Speaking of the plot, was the entire goal only to make it to his mother? Now what? They didn’t really accomplish anything, did they? They are all still in the middle of a post apocalyptic death zone. Are they just going to board the place up and wait things out, because I am pretty sure that is exactly what his mom was doing before he showed up and it wasn’t really working out for her, now was it? Next, let us address the solution to the climactic finale. A white mask with a red smiley face makes the “gigglers” run away. Really!?!? Well holy crap, somebody get on the Batphone and spread the word on how to take these suckers down!
The only part of this story that I found remotely entertaining, was when Dax and Dre think the stripper is Lonnie’s girlfriend and Riko corrects them. That isn’t to say Riko doesn’t have her bad moments as well. From her outfit, you can see she is using this crisis to indulge in her fantasy of being a superhero. When she meets Batwoman, she doesn’t comment on how bad ass she is, or how inspiring she is. Nope, she comments on how beautiful she is…. because, goodness me, it is her staggering beauty that enables her to kick so much ass! It is also kind of silly that when she meets Spoiler, she indicates that it is on her bucket list. Really? Meeting Spoiler of all people is on her bucket list…. Whatever, different strokes for different folks.
For those of you who are fans of Brian Buccellato, I don’t want you to get the wrong impression, I like him too. I just don’t like THIS story, but I blame DC more for that than Buccellato. I personally get the impression that it was thrown on him, he was pressed for time, and that he did the best he could.
I don’t really like kicking something when it’s down, but it is time to discuss art. Check out this image.
Yeah, Harper is drawn as a man…in a gray t-shirt… What can you really say about this? Well, I’ll tell you! This is how much DC didn’t care about this book! The artist didn’t take the time to know what the correct gender of the character they were drawing was, even though the colorist colored the characters in Harper’s colors he didn’t bother to take note that it was the wrong gender, and all three of the editors for this book didn’t take the time to notice that the gender of this character was wrong. That is how much nobody cared about this book. Now let’s look at something else ridiculous.
What are these kids doing? Are they supposed to be jumping the gap between these two building or are they flying? Ok, ok, I know they are jumping. But what was the kid in the background thinking? If they are jumping across and grabbing the ledge, doesn’t that mean that the guy in the back will land on the girl in front of him? Shouldn’t he have given her a moment to climb up and out of his way before jumping across. Now lets get super nitpicky. I mean, why not? He drew Harper as a man for god sake! He brought this on himself. Here is the very next panel.
Do I really need to point out all the continuity errors from the last panel to this one? If the dude in the jacket was jumping for the wall to the left of Lonnie, why does the characters direction of motion imply he circled around behind Lonnie from the right? As I already stated, look where the other guy and girl are jumping to, and look where they end up. What is she doing over there now? Being a comic artist doesn’t only mean that you have to be able to draw well, but you also have to be good at telling a story through visuals alone. Sequential order is an important part of that process.
While the layout is actually designed quite well, in order to guide our eyes through the scene, it is these sequential elements that are played with in order to get it to work correctly. If this were the only instance of errors within continuity, I wouldn’t be devoting so much time to it, but it happens several other times. Another instance shows Lonnie drop his hat, it isn’t on his head or in his hands, and in the very next panel it is on his head again. It’s one thing when errors like this pop up in a movie. Scenes are edited months after shooting and only noticed then, but here, he is drawing the stuff on the same page, can’t he see what he just drew? These errors, along with the sequential errors, are more evidence that makes me think this issue might have been rushed to print.
To be fair, I should point out that this issue had dual artist duties by Roge Antonio and Ronan Cliquet. Cliquet was responsible for the pages I just bashed.
My favorite part of the entire issue was at the very end when Alan Grant and Norm Breyfogle were recognized as the creators of Anarky. Respect.
- You have money burning a hole in your pocket and you need to spend it before you ignite into a ball of flame.
- You want to prove to DC that we will buy anything with the name Endgame on it, regardless of the content.
I felt like this Endgame tie-in was completely irrelevant and was just an attempt for DC to cash in on the name of their number one selling story line of the moment.
SCORE: 2.5 / 10