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Cover date: November 2004
Writer: Joe Kelly
Penciller: Doug Mahnke
Inker: Tom Nguyen
"Candle in a Hurricane"
Reviewed by: Neal Bailey
Inukchuck arrives and attacks him.
In the command center of the JLE, Green Arrow passes double entendres back and forth with Dawn while commanding the mission with Al-Shiekh.
Vera does battle with a giant werewolf, trading banter.
Katsumi takes the terrorist leader, revealing herself to the other person interested in the terrorist's apprehension (I'm sorry, folks, that's as clear as I can make it. (Neal)). The other person attacks her.
Green Arrow realizes that they have to go out of communication, and fears letting the team go without being watched over, because they might kill. Al Shiekh tells him no casualties.
The dreadlocked former Elite member (sorry, again, the text is vague about his name, this is the best I can do) pulses in order to shut down communications, and Vera is hit with the blast and knocked out.
Katsumi, meanwhile, begins to brawl with her assailant.
A bomber tries to use his bombs, but Flash stops him.
Meanwhile, Inukchuck continues battle with his assailant.
Major disaster helps clear the scene outside. Bhat orders an attack.
Arrow and Dawn banter. Al-Shiekh looks up Wolfwood in the computer over a cigarette.
Troops move in on Vera and launch gas, threatening nearby children. Vera moves to save them, charging back up.
Katsumi's assailant attacks the winged woman, and her acid blood burns the man's hand to stubs. She smashes him out.
The situation under control, the Elite meet President Bhat, who tries to give succor to the terrorist. Flash takes him away.
Bhat pokes fun at the fact that he won't be put out of commission, so Vera kicks him in the crotch and they leave.
Vera starts to leave, and passes out, saying, "Purple".
In the throne room, Vera awakens and realizes that an explosion has killed Bhat and his second-in-command.
Story - 1: I bought the first two issues with the hope that things would turn around in this series and become something interesting. I'm telling you now, unless I have to review it, this is the last of this series I am buying.
To put it bluntly, this story is convoluted, gratuitously violent (and not in the good way, in the violence for violence's sake way), preachy. I could go on for quite a while.
Note in my summary that I don't even know the names of half of these people. I'm sure you can blame me and say I should have researched, but how many of you guys research when you're gonna read a comic? These characters are not only boring, they're anti-thetical to the Superhero culture. Not in a Punisher kind of way, but in a "these guys are one step away from enjoying killing" kind of way.
I guess that's cool to some people.
Not for me.
I rejected whole-heartedly the idea that the JLA would even allow such an organization to exist. They wouldn't. Superman wouldn't, at very least. There was the whole issue that he was outvoted, but it doesn't matter. Superman would stop this if he knew it was going on. "Fake" killing people? Usurping regimes?
I see a disturbing trend in comics to insert the hero culture into the modern war, as they did in WW2, where comics became little more than racist propaganda pieces. I'm not saying I disagree with the comic's premise of eliminating terrorism through extreme means, just that it's overdone, and it's getting harder to do fairly.
It's less the story. It's an intriguing idea, I guess, if done right.
It's the fact that the story is being done in such a convoluted, incomprehensible way, such that even though I'm paying attention, I don't know the character names, what they're doing, who they are. I had to read a PREVIEWS to figure out that Vera was dressing up as Deathstroke, the prose and accompanying art was so clunky.
I don't know. I could go on with a lot of little barbs on this comic for its clunkiness and it's inability to be read, but I think I've spent enough time on it as it is.
Art - 2: It's pretty dark, often vague, and it's not really synched amazingly well with the prose. Usually if a writer is confusing, the penciller makes things a little more clear, but not in this case. I usually like Mahnke outside of Superman proper, but here, it's just dark, evil, rank subject matter that doesn't make me feel a sense of wonder but rather a disdain for the heroes.
Cover Art - 3: It's okay.
There's no background to speak of, but I don't know if there needs to be.
The colors are vivid, though a bit bland in places, like Vera, but it's a very dynamic pose and an interesting cover, at least.
Check out the Comic Index Lists for the complete list of Superman-related comics published in 2004.