By Koppy McFad
April 2, 2008 - 05:07
In an alternate universe, a corrupt version of Marvel Comics' Avengers makes a final attack on "the Extremists," a villainous team that closely resembles Marvel Comics' main bad guys.
In this last issue, we learn the origin of Lord Havok, the local version of Dr. Doom. It is an interesting story but ultimately, not a very engaging one. It certainly doesn't make us care for Havok/Doom or for his cause.
Then again, there are no sympathetic characters in this story. The 'superheroes' are depicted as no better than the villains. The violence is casual and meaningless. In fact, it looks more and more like a mean-spirited parody of Marvel Comics rather than an attempt to make these characters stand on their own as part of their own story. Even the big "twist" at the end of the book looks contrived. Like the big bad guy needed to go to all that trouble just to trap his enemies.
The art makes it even harder to care about the characters. It is scratchy and disorganized and sometimes, it is hard to tell what is happening. One character appears to have been killed in one panel-- then reappears unharmed a few panels later. Even the action sequences look dull-- despite all the killing that is going on.
This whole miniseries is part of the big "Monarch" plotline that is being set up in the COUNTDOWN miniseries and which will no doubt play a part in the big FINAL CRISIS miniseries a few months from now. But if all just seems like a violent sideshow that just highlights how grim and gritty the DC universe has become.
Two stars out of five.