By Koppy McFad
May 25, 2010 - 04:36
Judging from this first issue, this miniseries is not a new version of "History of the DC Universe" that some people thought it would be. Instead, it shows us how superheroes operated in different eras-- in this comic, we get a look at the early-1940s when mystery-men were just rearing their cowled heads. In this issue, we get to see the Crimson Avenger, the Sandman and the Atom at work through the eyes of a pair of dead-end kids. In the back-up story, two reporters recall the fantastic tales they have heard about Dr. Fate and the Spectre and then dismiss them all as hysteria, illustrating how the world still isn't ready to accept superhuman beings.
Obviously, those who thought this miniseries would focus on events like the first meeting of the Justice Society or Green Lantern fighting Hitler will be disappointed. We only get glimpses of the heroes from the viewpoint of ordinary humans. That said, it is an entertaining story that shows how amazing and bizarre the early mystery-men must have appeared to ordinary men at the time, even when these heroes were nothing more than masked men with simple gimmicks.
By telling the story through the eyes of people of that era, the creators highlight the impact of these super-characters while also summarizing their adventures in just four or five panels. This way, several superheroes can be covered in one issue, giving the story a wider scope.
The art throughout this book is top-notch with the collaboration of the Kuberts giving a story that looks both modern and classic all at once. J.G. Jones' art in the back-up tale is also superb, making both Dr. Fate and the Spectre look truly powerful, even in the cramped confines of the small panels he has to work with.
It remains to be seen if future issues will match the quality of this issue. But so far, things are looking very good.
Rating: 8 /10