There’s something kind of satisfying in seeing that this mini-series is almost over. I was genuinely excited after reading the first issue, cautiously optimistic after the second and since then have just been surfing on the wave of mediocrity that each subsequent issue has delivered (mediocrity being the best it could offer, I don’t even want to talk about the worst it’s had to offer). So yeah, I’m glad to see that I don’t have to see such a great premise continue to be bludgeoned into an unrecognizable delivery of slop. While the plot, characters and internal conflicts have continued to dip in quality there was always something to look forward to with this mini-series. But with the second all out brawl of this mini-series there is so much to rant about so let’s get started!
While I will never completely write off a story and will push for those working on it to constantly improve their craft there’s something so sad about seeing how great the beginning of this story was only to watch it never get nearly as good as that beginning. I wish I had taken more time to write about my appreciation of Robin and Supergirl’s dynamic because it was genuinely touching, comedic and a great way to move the story forward without it feeling imposed. Now I’m stuck talking about what quickly became my least favorite character and even my favorite character becoming pretty excruciating to read about. Who are these characters and what did Ivan Cohen & Danny Lore do to them you ask? To those who have been following my reviews y’all might be tired of hearing me write about Gigi by now and might be shocked that I would have anything negative to say about Kid Quick but here we are!
To start off with Gigi, I should say that though my criticism of how quickly this character has been tarnished was pretty minimal in most reviews I have no choice but to complain about her now because she chews up so much scenery in this issue! Not only are we reminded of each individual interaction she’s had with the heroes which only proves how vapid those interactions actually were but her character is removed of any morality whatsoever. What I loved about her presence in the first issue is that she was able to display the loss of agency that poverty forces onto people while still having her moral compass take over at a critical moment. She was a nuanced character that in her few moments left a big impact. Immediately after, she became the most bland character with her only remarkable trait being her colorful hair. That was boring and annoying but in this issue she is actually insufferable. We found out that they murdered her friend in a previous issue and she talks about it in this issue as though she already knew it had happened and yet still chose to work with the Church of Blood. Then the heroes show up and she immediately switches tune. Where’s her nuance? Her moral compass? Way to make the poor character seem like a brain dead moron, that’s so sensible!
As for Kid Quick, I was so happy to see that there had always been one character who could bring a source of entertainment to the reader with a distinct personality and a quick tongue. I guess I also related to this character on a personal level because it felt like a pretty fun representation of ADHD (which I have a pretty bad case of). In this issue the writers decided that having at least one upbeat entertaining character just wouldn’t do and out of nowhere made them depressed and questioning their place in the world. Existential crises are all fine and dandy but at least build up to it! Kid Quick’s hesitation is so vapid that what is supposed to be an intense identity crisis is over in a flash. We got to experience at least four seasons of Mr. Peanut Butter in the show Bojack Horseman before he showed even a glimmer of sadness, now that’s restraint! I will say that unlike Gigi there’s an incredible two page spread dedicated to Kid Quick where they feel like their amazing self again and that’s what I wanna focus on now.
Because some of the characters that have been stagnating get a second chance in this issue and while it’s not enough to save this comic I think it’s still something to write home about. Or at least, here I am writing at home about it. I talked about the lack of progression in the debate between Aquagirl and her split between the Teen Justice League and the Justice Guild which was just never going anywhere and started to annoy me every time it showed up. One thing I appreciate is that whenever Teen Justice have to fight they instantly put these differences aside and start to fight as a team. This has been consistent and in this issue it also allows Aquagirl to be a character that goes beyond the one-note issue she’s always associated with. Her presence in this comic is actually pretty fun and I like that she can be confident and powerful. There’s also the great progression of Raven and Troy’s relationship who’s peak gets its own beautiful high point right after Kid Quick gets their two page spread. Those two moments are perhaps the only pages I couldn’t criticize whereas the rest I could endlessly nitpick like:
Speaking of the bad guys, are they weak or strong? Why is this issue’s fight feeling like a more artificial rollercoaster than those mediocre VR experiences. Everytime the balance is shifted there’s barely a reason behind it and it just feels like the writers are trying to add anything spicy to the mix but the result becomes inedible and flavorless.
I don’t feel like ranting about the story anymore because I think it’s clear that this issue is maybe one of the worst ones so far despite it being one of the big final fights. So let’s start talking about the art. I was really impressed with how Luciano Vecchio had picked up on the art of Marco Failla in issue #3 of Multiversity: Teen Justice but this issue is the complete opposite. Instead of taking the art of this universe, it’s light and fluffy atmosphere with hints of darker story elements, this comic just looks off. The characters have these sharp facial features like they’re anime characters and their bodies are weirdly proportioned so that when they stand still or start to engage in action they never seem to look consistent. I do think the spacing of the art is executed really well and there isn’t any space that feels out of place or wasted. But just because the art fits the page doesn’t mean that it fits the universe. Maybe if Marco Failla had supervised the art in this issue it could feel more consistent, maintaining the fluffiness of characters that looked as soft as clouds, but for now Vecchio has rained on my parade and I’m not enjoying the new direction this art is taking (especially when so close to the finish line).
- Raven and Troy’s relationship is all you cared about this whole time and you’re happy that it continues to be pretty solid writing and art-wise
- This comic fell onto your head like a gift from God and you don’t want to forsake this sacred gift
- You’re too close to the end to give up now
For a big fight so close to the end there’s nothing spectacular about it. The writing is a massive departure from the first issue because it spends time actively undermining itself. This is seen through dilly dallying with Kid Quick, making Gigi look like a brainless follower and introducing so many convenient confusing plot points that even though it’s a big fight I have such little investment in any of the characters at this point that anything new and exciting just falls flat. The art is also a departure from the cozy world created by Marco Failla and even worse because I spent so much time complaining I couldn’t even talk about the coloring which I think rocks or the lettering which although isn’t as varied as before still feels really solid. So here’s an even quicker overall within this overall: ugh.
Disclaimer: Batman News received a copy of this comic from the publisher for the purpose of this review.