By Koppy McFad
February 26, 2008 - 02:33
Nightmaster leads the Shadowpact in a last-ditch battle to save his kingdom of Myrra from a mind-controlling entity called "the Unbound."
This is a pretty fast-moving issue despite the rather complex plot. A key character explains everything rather concisely and once that is out of the way, the story comes to an exciting conclusion that lets most of the Shadowpact show their stuff.
Perhaps it is just the sight of heroes acting like heroes-- and actually saving the world (or at least A world) that makes this issue so exciting. Zauriel, Nightmaster and the Enchantress all get stand-out scenes and if the victory over the bad guys comes as a bit of a "deus ex machina"-- well, at least it is a spectacular conclusion with the triumph coming only at a great cost.
The art is a bit too "realistic" for a story that is suppose to be set in a magical kingdom. Winslade's style might be better suited for modern-day tales, set in a more familiar world. But the action scenes are entertaining without wallowing in gore and violence and the artist does make good use of the limited panel space that he has.
There is something of a cheat in this issue as all the previous issues-- and the advertisements-- make it look like a member of the Shadowpact is going to die. SPOILERS ALERT! Well, it is actually heart-warming to see that the unexpected death doesn't happen. How odd for a DC Comic these days.
One thing that is noticeable is that some of the Shadowpact members seem superfluous to the story. In fact, the absence of Detective Chimp from the tale improves it immensely. Maybe this means the Chimp is overrated. But it might also mean that the Pact should slim down its roster and simplify its backstory to reach a wider audience.