Necessary Evil: Super-Villains of DC Comics [Blu-ray]
THE JOKER, LEX LUTHOR, CATWOMAN, DOOMSDAY, BANE. What makes them so thrillingly watchable? So terribly wonderful? So extremely vital to our super heroes and their worlds? This new feature-length documentary explores these questions across seven decades of DC Comics' hallowed Rogues' Gallery of infamous evildoers.
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Cover date: January 2001
Writer: Doug Moench
Penciller: Dave Ross
Inker: George Freeman
Book One: "Power Lost"
Reviewed by: Neal Bailey (email@example.com)
In Central City, Flash tries to save a cop from being shot.
In lower Manhattan, Green Lantern sees Sonar II attacking a bank and moves in to stop him.
High in the air, Steel patrols Jersey City.
Metamorpho drills into earth.
Captain Marvel holds up a building.
Suddenly, a black light envelops the earth, and every super-hero is without powers.
Superman is taken with the outpouring of water from the now burst dam. Flash watches in horror as the cop dies. Green Lantern is shocked when his ring fails, but Sonar II's technology reduces him to a bloody pulp. Steel crashes into a tree, beaten. Captain Marvel reverts back to his secret identity, barely in time to save everyone. Metamorpho cuts his now human hand on the rock that collapses upon his former drill.
Aquaman nearly drowns, his powers gone. He surfaces, and a ship carries him to land. Superman, alive but bleeding, stands up finally on dry land only to find that the people around him are angry for his not being able to save them. They move in. Sonar II kicks the crud out of Green Lantern and leaves him for dead.
It seems that all technology survived, though it was briefly disrupted in the flash. Now technology is the only super power left.
The world reacts:
Blue Beetle, Booster Gold, and Steel, the last active superheroes (this despite Steel's many injuries) move in to take the place of the many mighty god-like beings that patrolled the world.
Many villians, technically oriented, are unaffected.
Martian Manhunter, forced back into his Martian form, addresses the league, telling them that despite the difficulty of the situation, they should make the best of it. Meanwhile, he intimates, the non-super-powered league members should try to pick up the slack... the world is in the process of falling apart thanks to villains that do not fear repercussion.
Green Lantern refuses to believe that his powers are gone. He examines the ring angrily.
Oracle taps away, trying to find the reason for this tragedy.
Clark Kent watches on TV the horror playing out across the globe.
Toyman, seeing that Superman is out of commission, begins to create a larger, more powerful vehicle of attack.
All of the supervillains, in one room, declare that if they work together they can take the world...
Clark Kent, wallowing in his grief at having not been able to save the town from the flood, is comforted by Lois.
Kyle lashes out at his girlfriend, insisting that he can get his ring back.
The techno-super-heroes of the world have their hands full, and they spend a few pages dispatching the world's less sinister techno-geek villains.
Oracle addressed the JLA, and tells them that she hasn't found anything that isn't CLASSIFIED on the Act of God. She suggests that the JLA reconvene in a week to talk this issue over again.
Kyle continues to brood over his lost ring.
Toyman attacks the Lexcorp building.
Steel sees this in his hospital room, refuses any more aid, and leaps into his metal suit to do battle with the forces of evil.
Toyman takes his giant monstrosity and pummels Steel, ripping his armor apart and then crushing him beneath a huge foot.
Lex gloats in his tower, asking Superman where he is now to himself, and gloating further that while Toyman thinks he has Luthor, he doesn't.
Story - 1: Very original idea, very bad execution. First off, all of the Leaguers, instead of banding together to do what they can, whine. And then, after they whine, they just go home. This is not what the JLA would do. They'd get behind machines and computers to whatever degree they could, and attack the problem head-on. This bothered me a great deal, to see all of these idealistic people just give up on their ideals because they didn't have an extraordinary ability to deal with said ideals. I mean, that's the way it is in real life, sure: people don't often do good deeds without the monetary, political, or physical power to do so. But there are always those people who, despite their poverty, give to the poor. Who, despite their weakness, attempt to carry others' load. And those who, despite their lack of mayoral power, attempt to take the power of the city into their own hands in the name of the common good (CAN I GET AN AAAAAAA-MEN!?). And those, my friends, those, my sisters and brothers, those, my fellow Martians, and Kryptonians, and...Lanterns. Whatever. THOSE are the members of the J... L... A! Not these panty-waste sniveling geeks. Clark Kent watching the world go down the tubes on the television. What were they thinking?
And little technical things, too: Lois' hair, too short. DC: decide on a length for Lois' hair. Long. Or short. I don't care. She's hot. But she looks like the Contessa in this piece, like Lori Lemaris in the next. FIX IT! Also, the pace of this was one hero, the next hero, the next hero, the next. It seems that the story was catered to as many cameos as possible, and it distracted from the main story. And what's the deal with Green Lantern whining three straight times? Was that just filler? Fill it with something better. And what's the deal with the JLA meeting merely to elaborate their situation over and over, with no attempt to rectify it?
And am I nuts, but is Aquaman an Atlantis resident, born and bred? Doesn't that make him able to breathe under water, just not super-strong if he loses his powers?
And you just try and tell me that the Cyborg, Metallo, Warworld, or even Luthor wouldn't try to make some kind of move immediately. Long before that geek Toyman, who they made the main villain of this story. So far.
And I swear, if Luthor is the villain behind this... I will REAM the next issue in review unless the execution is flawless. Luthor is not god-like in the reach of his powers. He cannot remove super-powers. And Luthor so glibbly intimated that he IS, in fact, the villain, that it would be terrible to make him such.
Art - 4: A very stunning Superman in context, before he's turned to a whine-boy. And Kyle, when he's whining, is drawn very well. I also like the current touches that are acknowledged. In many of these Elseworlds that I have read, Toyman is still in green with curly hair. And while I chastise DC for not giving Lois a universal hair length, I applaud the artist for going towards modern as opposed to fifties.
Cover Art - 2: Not representative and awkward. The light was never physically seen, and the heroes depicted were never together. The cover indicates a huge battle, possibly with God, and this is not shown in the issue at all. The closest it comes is the JLA whining at "God". And for the love of MIKE! Where in the heck is Wonder Woman's hand going?
Check out the Comic Index Lists for the complete list of Superman-related comics published in 2001.