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Mild Mannered Reviews - Specials

Villains United #1

Villains United #1

Scheduled to arrive in stores: May 4, 2005

Cover date: July 2005

Writer: Gail Simone
Penciller: Dale Eaglesham
Inker: Wade Von Grawbadger

"And Empires In Their Purpose" - Part 1

Reviewed by: Nick Newman

Click to enlarge

The Calculator tells Mr. Freeze that a new age is coming, and if he doesn't join their society he'll be left behind. Similar offers are given to other villains across the planet. One inductee asks if anyone turns them down. Calculator says only the suicidal ones.

In an African preserve, Catman turns down their offer. Doctor Psycho attempts to threaten him, but Catman's tribe of lions prevents that from happening. Talia tells him that if they leave without him, he will suffer for a long time. Catman does not change his decision.

Outside of Gotham, Luthor's inner circle discusses Catman's refusal. They contemplate killing Catman, but Luthor tells everyone not to touch him.

In the Amazon, Deadshot and a gang of villains stumble upon a group of HIVE agents. Fiddler fails to stop them, so Ragdoll and Parademon are forced to deal with them. Deadshot finishes off the last of them. After the battle, Fiddler tries to convince them it wasn't his fault, but Deadshot ends his protests with a bullet to the head. As the remaining five walk away, they comment that they need a new member.

Scandal and Deadshot meet with Catman a few days later. Catman knows they want him to embarrass the society. He turned them down, so now the opposition wants him. By sending Deathstroke after him, the society made it his fight. Catman agrees to join the six. Before leaving, Catman gives a letter to the bartender, addressed to Oliver Queen.

Catman asks about the numbers, and they tell him that Luthor's group is now numbering over two hundred. They have only six. Walking in to the ancient mansion that serves as their headquarters, the six sit in front of a large screen. A silhouette named "Mockingbird" addresses them. Mockingbird tells them that alone they accomplished nothing, but together they will succeed. Cheshire gets up and prepares to leave, telling them that she won't jump through hoops. Their host tells her to think of what she'd be giving up. First, her daughter would be killed. Secondly, when they succeed, Cheshire is entitled to Asia.

3Story - 3: This book suffers from the same problem that "The OMAC Project #1" did. I like the premise a lot, and I'm sure that as a whole this series will be quite good, but this issue didn't accomplish anything. For a series supposedly spotlighting Luthor and his new society, we see very little Lex. I'm also upset that there wasn't a roll call done anywhere in this issue. I didn't recognize all of the villains in this book, so there's a good chance that many of you didn't either. I really hope this is rectified in the next issue. The killings continue with Fiddler, and I have to say that if this continues then this is going to get real old real fast. The problem with killing a character like Fiddler is that while his death is meaningless and accomplishes nothing, it means he can't be used any more in the DCU. And if the writers are going to kill off every non-essential character, that's going to severely limit their potential stories in the future. Overall, while I'm intrigued by the idea of this series, this issued failed to accomplish anything substantial. It was decent, but I need more of a story to call it more than average.

4Art - 4: It's not the best art in the world, but it is very clean and crisp, and it's plain enough that all of the villains actually look like themselves. In a book like this, with a ton of cameos and no introductions, that means a lot. Phobia looks like Phobia. Knockout looks exactly like she did when Grummett drew her. Sure the costumes help a lot, but the art still helps communicate the characters' identities. This isn't anything phenomenal, but I do like it.

3Cover Art - 3: I'm not sure what they could have put on this cover, but as it stands this one definitely doesn't grab you. The artwork also wasn't nearly as good as I would normally expect from J.G. Jones. At least the second printing is done by Eaglesham, which should be better. And of course I'm going to buy the second printing too, because DC pretty much owns my soul these days. Although I like Deathstroke looming over us on the cover, I just can't get excited about a cover that's so... plain.

Mild Mannered Reviews


Note: Month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

January 2005

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