By Koppy McFad
May 24, 2010 - 04:14
This series is set in its own continuity where no one has super-powers and where modern technology like jets and cellphones exist but the world still looks like it is stuck in the 1930s-1940s. Doc Savage, the Spirit and even the Batman are working separately on cases involving a global conspiracy. But they don't know that all of their cases are connected.
In this issue, Doc Savage's crew seek out the help of another old-time pulp hero, the Avenger, to do a job of questionable legality. Meanwhile the new Blackhawks hunt down the Spirit and begin working him over for information.
This issue is intriguing but ultimately disappointing. So much time and panel space is devoted to just setting the mood, getting to know the characters, like the Avenger, the Spirit's sidekick Ebony (now a young black girl) and the new multi-ethnic Blackhawks-- and even two scientists working for the bad guy. All of them get lengthy, 'noir-ish' dialogue which advances the story too slowly.
Frankly, the overuse of prolonged dialogues and heavy internal monologues feels a little self-indulgent on the part of the writer, like he is trying to impress us with his eloquence. Even worse, it looks like a delaying tactic, to pad out a story which the writer hopes to pick up in a sequel-- or in a regular series.
But the real tragedy is that all this talk just slows down the story. What should be a suspenseful 'pulp' adventure feels like a tired, decompressed, modern story.
Even the art looks like it was cut back compared to the first issue of FIRST WAVE. There are too many bare backgrounds, too many close-ups that reduce the scale of the story.
The high point of the story is the scene where a wordless Doc Savage crashes through a window and saves the day. That should be a clue on what kind of story they should be writing.
Rating: 6 /10