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Mild Mannered Reviews - Specials

Villains United #4

Villains United #4

Scheduled to arrive in stores: August 10, 2005

Cover date: October 2005

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

"A Weapon to Unify"

Neal Bailey Reviewed by: Neal Bailey

Click to enlarge

The Jack of the Royal Flush gang speaks with his warden. He tells the warden that he wants an early release, or his friends in the Society will kill his family. He also tells the warden not to tell anyone, because this is going to be happening in prisons all across the world.

Mockingbird's crew arrive in a remote country searching for the origin of Luthor's device. Scandal is from the area, but she says it is nothing more than a coincidence.

Scandal changes into a suit that bears what she calls the lamentation blades. They prepare to move in.

In Gotham, Psycho fumes that they are not killing the six. Luthor explains that their psyche profile indicates that they will respond well to what the Society is doing.

Luthor is informed by Talia that Psycho is using low-level telepathic persuasion. Luthor counters that it will not work on him.

They visit the newest members, a crew of obvious C list villains. Talia informs Luthor that after the defeat, recruitment is down.

Calculator tells Luthor that there's a blip at the installation where the six are attacking. Luthor tells him to notify Black Adam.

Ragdoll sneaks in through the toilet and attacks.

Queen Bee sends hive agents to stop the breach as the walls explode outward.

Catman shows in the doorway, and flips to reveal Deadshot, who opens fire.

The battle rages. Drones are killed left and right. The queen is told to retreat, but she refuses, not caring for drone lives.

Ragdoll is hit. Parademon panics.

Scandal opens the computers, and finds out that the plan is to mindwipe the entrie JLA.

Parademon charges Catman for allowing Ragdoll to die. Deadshot tries to stop him, and Parademon smashes him in the face.

The transporter powers up. Black Adam and the Royal Flush gang are on the others side.

As they arrive, the six release the containment field. Firestorm wakes from the containment field, and confronts Adam and the Royal Flush gang (including Parasite) as they arrive.

Jade and Thomas (Catman) relax later, having, well, how to put this bluntly, had sex. She asks him about his past, and he tells her about seeking honor, trying to stop being a joke. She tells him that she knows that he really wants to be a hero. He asks why she hasn't killed him yet, and she says that she wanted his child.

5Story - 5: I don't know what the deal is... having just reviewed Action Comics where Gail seems to be flailing, and then moving here, where she's really shining, I'm totally confused.

Granted, like Superman: Metropolis, this series started very slow for me and then became more coherent... I still lament that a story that could be about Luthor and company is instead about the backstabbing villain team, but hey, at least if it's gonna be about that, it's at least a very well done, very strongly characterized piece.

The fan moments are pretty great here. The revelation of the plot of the society, the release of firestorm, the moment where Catman releases Deadshot on the hive... all incredibly cool and well executed.

The beginning was chilling. The bar paneling, I don't know if that was the artist or Gail, but I want to mention it here because it was a really claustrophic, really well done device. It brings you into the feeling of both being imprisoned, and being blackmailed, like the warden is. And that concept, of all of the prisons opening... just really, really cool.

I did have a few problems... there was a typo early on, and I don't believe, unless Ragdoll can actually pull a strecho like Mr. Fantastic, that there's any way he could ever get through a toilet. I imagine this is just a case of writer ignorance... either that or reader ignorance, because I don't know Ragdoll's full properties, but if you've ever installed toilets, and if you've ever worked plumbing, and I have, you'll know that there's no chance a human being, no matter how contorted, could fit in those pipes. And twisting up the back of the toilet? Well, anyway, it's just hard to imagine, even with the suspension of disbelief.

Still, though, I'm very impressed with the story so far. I'm worried it won't be able to be wrapped up in the last issue, but I have a feeling that Infinite Crisis might actually continue this story, that we might have some great continuity. Two months can't pass fast enough.

5Art - 5: This art just really worked for me this issue. The paneling was really dynamic, and active, the fight scene especially. Firestorm was really well done.

That flip with Catman, it could have gone VERY badly, and the artist managed to make it poetic. That takes talent, talent we see here.

It again begs my question from the Action review. If this guy were drawing Action with Gail's scripts, would it be better? Would I not mind so much? That's why it's so essential that the whole package is there with comics. Azzarello can have Lee and still fail, and Gail Simone can have a great script, and maybe Byrne will bring it down. I don't know, it's all coulda shoulda woulda, to me. Point being, this artist rocks, knows his subject, and is conveying it well.

A VAST improvement from the last few issues. The art is really hitting its stride.

4Cover Art - 4: Well, it didn't happen anywhere in the issue, per ce, but it's still a great pose. What the heck is that globe in the background, and why is it all green? You know, I do like complimenting colors in contrast, but when it's not sensible, it's kind of off. What IS that great green background? Why not a hundred drones? That would have been awesome.

Still, as I said, great pose, great team pick, and I take pains saying this, but Catman looks awesome. He does. That's hard to pull off.

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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