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Cover date: June 2009
"Welcome to Sundown Town" - Chapter 4: "Nyctophobia"
Writter: Dwayne McDuffie
Penciller: Rags Morales
Inker: John Dell
Reviewed by: Michael Bailey
Story - 4: Hmmm...
Here's the thing. I liked this issue. I like the direction that this book has taken and I like the fact that the League is once again composed of characters that do not have their own titles. If done well either concept of the League (all heavy hitters or all minor characters) can be an entertaining and engaging title.
The problem is that the pacing of the last handful of issues has made reading this title a bit difficult. With the fill-ins and the interludes it seems like a story that should be in full swing hasn't even gotten off the ground yet.
I mean it's a good story. I like it. I like the concept of bringing in the Milestone characters as a set up for a Justice League story instead of a separate mini-series or event. I like the fact that McDuffie has brought Dr. Light back to the table and made her a viable character again. I like Black Canary sticking to her guns. I like John keeping the chair person seat open so that Canary can have it when she wants it. There were some great scenes in this issue between John and Vixen, which was a nice callback to JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED. Starbreaker's return was fairly spectacular as well.
The thing is that this arc is feeling very piecemeal. I don't know if this is a production problem or if the artists involved are just horrendously behind but the end result is a haphazard story that will probably read just fine in the trade version but it presents some problems for the single issue reader like me the series. Luckily the overall quality of the series makes up for this.
So I liked this issue with some reservations.
Oh. I nearly forgot the one serious problem I had with this issue.
Isn't it a little clichéd to have a character with light based powers afraid of the dark?
I'm sure it is a previously established fear but at the same time it just feels corny. It really does.
Art - 4: Normally I am a pretty big fan of Rags' work but something was off in this issue. I don't know if it was the inking. That's possible. I wasn't disappointed with the art because Rags did a phenomenal job as far as the expressions the characters had and the storytelling was strong but something wasn't quite right. The only character that was inconsistent "shot to shot" was Starbreaker. The splash page Starbreaker did not look like the Starbreaker on the next page which didn't look like the Starbreaker on the next page. Other than those minor quibbles I enjoy enjoyed the art in this issue.
Cover Art - 5: This is a spectacular cover. Seriously. I like the composition and it is one of the few Benes covers that does not feature a female character prominently displaying their rear end to the camera. It was one of those covers where the scene on the cover doesn't happen in the story but I am willing to let that pass for once. Great cover.
Check out the Comic Index Lists for the complete list of Superman-related comics published in 2009.