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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: January 2008
Writter: Dwayne McDuffie
Penciller: Ed Benes
Inker: Sandra Hope
"Unlimited - Chapter 4: "Unleashed"
Reviewed by: Michael Bailey
Black Canary lets loose a sonic scream as the melee begins. Wonder Woman takes out Killer Frost. Red Arrow lends a few arrows to Hawkgirl before allowing Chesire to escape. Cheetah attempts to kill Black Lightning, whom she believes is unconscious. Lightning opens his eyes and announces that he is indeed awake before delivering a savage jolt of electricity. As John Stewart and Red Arrow take on Fatality and Wonder Woman beats on Gorilla Grodd savagely Giganta attacks Black Canary. Despite the odds Canary uses her scream to bring the giant down and then admonishes her on having a lack of decency in her costume choice.
Meanwhile Black Lightning and Firestorm find a disassembled Red Tornado, who reveals that his system has been invaded by another program before giving them a heads up on a still conscious and angry Gorilla Grodd coming in for the kill. The simian's attack is fierce and he catches the heroes off guard. They are saved by Geo-Force, who feels some satisfaction in opening the ground to swallow Gorilla Grodd because of Grodd's boasts that he was going to eat the former Outsider.
After Wonder Woman stops Cheetah from killing Dr. Light Superman demands a one on one battle with Lex Luthor. Before they can start Hal Jordan and John Stewart strip Luthor of his Kryptonite laden power gloves. Superman shreds Luthor's armor and with that the Injustice League are defeated. They account for the whole group, including the Joker who Batman found in the swamps trying to escape. Suddenly the Suicide Squad arrives to take possession of the villains. Reluctantly the League stands down and the Injustice League is taken into custody.
Soon after the Squad's departure Black Canary leaves to get ready for her wedding. Black Lightning commends Firestorm on his performance and tells the young hero that if he ever needs anything to just give them a call. Batman walks up and announces that Firestorm should join the team. At first Firestorm protests but Batman coldly informs him that his idea wasn't a request but rather a statement of how things are going to be. With that he walks off and Superman welcomes Firestorm to the Justice League.
Story - 4: While I don't have the same, exuberant feelings I did at the beginning of this storyline I was still very satisfied with the finale.
It all came down to the fight, really. All of the lead in, the twists and turns, all of it was simply the prelude to the two Leagues duking it out and in that sense this issue was great. The fights, broken down by character, all worked, the dialogue was both amusing and appropriate, the little sub-plots were dealt with well (like Vixen's "power problem"), and Black Canary got a chance to shine as team leader.
It was all that I wanted, even the ending where we got to see how the villains wound up on the prison planet in the first issue of SALVATION RUN.
And Firestorm is now on the team, which is awesome.
I guess if I had any problem with this story as a whole it was the pacing. It had this very solid opening with the wedding special and a strong second chapter, but after that, despite my strong positive feelings for the concepts and characters, I think the story went into overdrive. It was still a good story. I liked it, but the last few chapters just flew by.
Still, I like McDuffie on this series. The end, with the Suicide Squad, was neat and I liked the fact that Black Canary was the one to stand at the forefront to read the warrant. I like her as team leader and look forward to seeing what McDuffie does with her in that role.
This title has a lot of potential under McDuffie's care. I am especially looking forward to the Tangent characters showing up next issue.
See, there is something good about the new Multiverse.
Art - 4: I enjoy Ed Benes' work. I really do. I think he has a solid style and a knack for drawing super-heroes.
And yet I still had a few problems with his art in this issue.
He and Sandra Hope opened up strong. The splash page shot of the Injustice League was fantastic and it was sandwiched between two smaller pages that had a good mix of action and character.
And then we get to the two page spread of the Justice League.
Now I am by no means a prude and am not the type to get all up in arms about the representation of women in super-hero comics. That's not how I roll. I liked the two page spread. I really did, but did we really need Black Canary positioned so that her...behind was in front of the "camera"? It was distracting and did nothing for the scene. To be fair she was the only female character positioned in such a way. Wonder Woman, Vixen and Hawkgirl were all in more natural, tough guy (or girl) positions. I just think that the Black Canary part of the shot was a bit gratuitous.
Other than that I was happy with the art. The action was big. All of the characters looked great and it was part of the satisfying end to this storyline.
Cover Art - 3: I don't think this is necessarily a bad cover. The art by Churchill, Rapmund and Sinclair looks fine. I'm just not much on the composition. It's a pretty standard "everyone fight" cover. I guess I was expecting a little more considering the previous covers. Oh well. I can't like them all.
Check out the Comic Index Lists for the complete list of Superman-related comics published in 2008.