By Koppy McFad
April 28, 2009 - 03:19
This is quite an engrossing comic-- but not because of the danger posed by the villains. Yes, we get a fight with Shadow-Thief and Starbreaker's return to prominence but this is all very subdued. In fact, all of the combat takes place in a small cell in a high-security prison. This limits the scope of the story somewhat, even though we are suppose to be dealing with a world-ending threat.
What is interesting about this story is the tense relations between the heroes. Black Canary is threatening to disband the League but the remaining members-- Vixen, Firestorm, John Stewart, etc. -- are determined to keep their League alive-- despite their own internal squabbling and their lower status in the superhero community.
The dialogue, the reasoning and interaction of the characters are the real showpiece of this issue. Some, like John Stewart, really come into their own as unique characters. Others, like Canary and Vixen, come off as quite abrasive but also show signs of independence and strength.
This kind of story seems very much like the AVENGERS and DEFENDERS stories of the late 70s and 80s when more attention was focused on the character-driven drama than on foiling the plots of the villains. The old days of the Swordsman-Mantis-Vision-Scarlet Witch love quadrangle and Valkyrie's search for her identity proved pretty popular. But nowadays, these kind of stories can seem rather small and slow compared to the 'big-screen' stories where whole planets get blown up every other page.
The art is very expressive and quite imaginative, especially the scenes in Shadow-Thief's 'all-light' cell. But like the story, it all looks like a TV soap opera rather than an big-screen action movie. The cover meanwhile, looks totally inappropriate. It seems more like a sex scene than a frightening horror scene.
Rating: 6.5 /10