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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.
Cover date: February 2001
Writer: Doug Moench
Penciller: Dave Ross
Inker: George Freeman
Book Two: "Fallen Angels"
Reviewed by: Neal Bailey (email@example.com)
Booster Gold and the Blue Beetle arrive on the scene, and start to beat the robot into submission.
Frightened, the Toyman unleashes his secret weapon, pushing a button that releases super-villains hidden in his robot's chest.
Cyborg, Metallo, and others of technological origin beat Blue Beetle and Booster into submission, destroying the source of their power nearly irreparably.
Luthor laughs... his plot is working perfectly. The villains, at his disposal thanks to a large cash donation, turn their back on the Toyman and leave him to the police.
Hawkman swoops in and grabs a grenade launcher from a police officer. He flies up to the robot and launches a grenade into the cockpit.
Seconds later, the cops escort Toyman to the pen, but not before Luthor stops him and gloats over having swayed Toyman's cadre of villains from his command.
Clark is in the dumps. He leaves Lois, because she doesn't love him now that he's not Superman.
At Steelworks, Manhunter mourns Steel with his niece. They walk in to find all of the equipment stolen...
Billy Batson, walking down the street, keeps crying, "SHAZAM!" to no avail.
Clark goes to Wonder Woman's house and moves in after a five minute conversation.
At Warriors, Guy Gardner's bar, Guy Gardner talks to an agent about his impending book deal about the loss of his powers. Booster, Beetle, and Metamorpho show up and start drinking.
Interlude: Wonder Woman and Clark kiss.
Back at the bar, one of the boys tosses a beer into the face of a ruffian in drunken clumsiness, and a bar fight erupts. Guy Gardner jumps in.
Lois complains about herself to herself, about how she cannot love Clark, only Superman... why?
Supergirl, in her job as a policewoman, laments the loss of her powers, which makes it infinitely more difficult to fight crime.
Flash has nightmares about the policeman that he let die.
At the Watchtower, the few remaining leaguers decide to form a Phoenix team, which they will train for with Batman.
Joker, leading the evil group of techno-villains, points to the evil future and prognosticates success for the baddies of the world.
The Phoenix Group begins training in the Batcave.
Sonar takes another bank out, while Green Lantern screams at the loss of his powers in another time and place.
Atom signs up to be experimented upon by Luthor's tech team, who shrink him again, but he's unable to change size. He sneaks about and finds that the evil scientists are going to let him die, using him as a guinea pig.
It is some later date: Wonder Woman comes in, from Wall Street, and tells Clark to get a job. They argue. Clark seems disheveled.
Wally quits the Phoenix group in frustration and then later returns.
Green Lantern again complains about his lost powers, but does nothing about it, can do nothing about it.
Atom runs back to his holding "dollhouse", and is chased by a cockroach. He tries to call Manhunter, the only phone number from the JLA he knows, but his size is such that his voice is unable to be heard. He implodes, suddenly, then explodes, causing a nuclear explosion.
To be continued...
Story - 1: Problems: The National Guard doesn't come to the aid of corporations... even Luthor. When Luthor does get the National Guard's aid, when they catch Toyman, instead of immediate incarceration, they let Luthor gloat with him a bit. This reminds me of the scene in Mallrats... they have the villain in custody, and the good guy goes to punch him. The cops say, "Hey, you can't punch a man in police custody!" To which the hero replies: "Aw, c'mon, just this once?" And then they let him. It's comical there, and that's what this scene reminded me of. Hawkman launches a grenade at Toyman. Not very heroic. Rather dangerous. He almost kills Booster and Beetle. Then, after being hit with a grenade, Toyman only has a small cut on his forehead. SUPERMAN IS NOT WHAT LOIS IS IN LOVE WITH. SHE'S IN LOVE WITH CLARK. I don't know how many times the comic book love scene, generic though it is, has been interrupted by Clark needing to leave for some super-heroic deed or another. Lois would probably give her pocketbook and good looks for ten minutes alone with Clark, just Clark. Now she makes him leave for achieving this? Give me a break. Clark is a man of principle. He would give it more than a half hour, a day, whatever for him to start shacking up with Wonder Woman. And even if he let his hormones get to him, Wonder Woman would stop him. Batman lets all of the heroes know where his secret lair is... ummm... possibly, but I don't totally buy it. Again, in this issue, lots of close ups of characters acting exactly the opposite of the way they would if this happened in the DC Universe. These heroes are made of sterner stuff than their powers. They would band together, as they seem to be doing in this issue, but much quicker, and much more efficiently. Especially Superman and Wonder Woman. Even Green Lantern. I mean, he hasn't had his powers long enough to miss them THAT much... The endless series of useless cameos by respective super-heroes and their villains. Sonar, Joker, and Toyman are technical lightweights compared with Cyborg and Metallo. Where are those guys? Atom gets the gist of the bad guy's plan through a rather James Bond-esque manner: he listens in on their plan in a conveniently left open vent... where no one in their organization would ever expect a mini-man to sneak in, of course (of COURSE!). Green Lantern: WHINE WHINE WHINE. I mean, he draws COMICS for a living... who needs super-powers?
Good things: The Toyman unleashes the real bad guys when his number's up, though if Booster Gold and the Blue Beetle were handing Toyman his rump, Steel would have done it in a half second. Problem is, when the Cyborg is released, he punches. Kicks. Does nothing intelligent. Hank Henshaw was a scientist. Not a dumb brawler. Luthor is very in character, though he gets away with things even Luthor couldn't. Batman is dead-on. He wouldn't take crud from the heroes, he doesn't, and he never gives up, quits, whines. Superman, though badly, shows weakness, which we never see. The characters all show weakness, which they never do. That's nice. It's just so random and hard to keep coherent that it's lost in the "special" aspect of the format. IE, more heroes, less concern with details.
Art - 4: Though the art took a decline from the first issue through more boxy panels, the story is still dead-on put by the wonderful work I see on the page. I still don't like the Contessa-like Lois, but the artwork really stands out for me on this one, beyond the story.
Cover Art - 2: Same dang cover as the last one. Same dang cover. Except this one has no heroes. Or, even more frightening, the heroes have all decided to abandon their clothes and embrace this evil light which is destroying the world, either way it doesn't make sense. It seems, however, thankfully, that Martian Manhunter took his shorts. Good move, greeny. Wonder Woman too. D'oh! But for all intents and purposes, we could easily deduce that Plasty and Blue Beetle, at least, are NAKED! UGH! Well, probably not really, but that's the first thing I thought when I saw this cover... the back has a good Batman, though.
Check out the Comic Index Lists for the complete list of Superman-related comics published in 2001.