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Villains United - Infinite Crisis Special

Villains United - Infinite Crisis Special

Scheduled to arrive in stores: April 26, 2006

Cover date: June 2006

Writer: Gail Simone
Penciller: Dale Eaglesham
Inker: Art Thibert and Drew Geraci

"A Hero Dies But One"

Neal Bailey Reviewed by: Neal Bailey

Click to enlarge

A prison warden grabs his family with haste and makes for the open road. He's afraid, because he's one of the wardens chosen to unleash prisoners. He tells his wife as much.

His tire blows. A tow truck aids him, pulling out the cause of the flat. A razor sharp playing card. Holding it up, the tow-truck operator tells the warden that he's taking the family hostage, and that the warden has to go back to unleash the prisoners.

Across the world, similarly, wardens are forced into cooperation.

The Six meet, discuss re-forming, and try to figure what side to work for, good or evil. They decide whichever, so long as they are paid.

Calculator monologues to himself, revealing his awe at Luthor, having checked him for any meta powers and found none. Luthor indicates that he's going to initiate stage A, unleashing the inmates, now.

In Blackgate, in Gotham, and all around the world, prisoners begin to initiate a break.

Heroes arrive on the scene at Gotham, trying to control the situation at Oracle's command. Croc tries to take down the Gotham prison, and finds himself captured.

Dr. Psycho and Warp discuss their plan with the center of the Earth. Only a 19% death probability...

Oracle realizes that it's multiple prisons, and begins to immediately dispatch more heroes to five prisons.

Luthor is chided for not informing the others that the Arkham plan was designed to fail, because the villains contained were less manageable. Dr. Light cracks wise, raising ire.

Oracle calls the Martian Manhunter, who reveals that most of the major heroes are incapacitated or busy, and that someone has died.

Oracle, desperate, gives J'onn access to all of her files, something she's never done before. They contact heroes and mobilize a defense at all of the prisons, the best they can.

Manhunter manages to telepathically link them all. Calm ensues.

The prison escapees move to other prisons and begin to break them open as well. Oracle learns that it's global chaos as more and more dots appear on her screen.

More prisoners begin to escape. Dr. Psycho and Warp, in parts unknown, find Doomsday.

The Secret Six show up and rescue Scarecrow and Fortune.

Fortune calls Al Ghul a slut. Knockout tosses him out of the helicopter.

Dr. Light, eager to do battle, asks to head in. Talia tells him no, so he commands her to get him coffee. She pours it on his lap and attacks him. Light tells her that there are no hard feelings, and vaguely threatens to return to rape her later.

They threaten to throw Scarecrow out after he gasses them. Catman puts pepper spray in his eyes, fights the effects, and manages to learn that all of the villains are massing in Metropolis.

The warden from the beginning shoots the man who took his family hostage from behind and through his chest. The villain tosses a card, slitting the warden's throat and putting him down.

Green Arrow learns of the Metropolis gathering, and informs Oracle.

The heroes arrive in Metropolis just before the villains. Psycho comes out, leading Doomsday, and the battle is on.

Above, the Six circle, trying to decide what to do, and ultimately take off, leaving the fight.

5Story - 5: Enjoyable. Really enjoyable. There were a few times where things seemed a bit arbitrarily stretched. The choice to show reactions in all of the major areas, for instance, instead of in one prison, added a lot of characters into the mix, which is interesting, but it wasn't all that necessary beyond scope, which is already established really well with one multiple montage.

Still, it was really neat to see all of the varying characters, and the character interaction, the sense of unity, the peril, all came off as very real and sincere. I really liked this book quite a bit. It's like an extra issue of Villains United, just like the OMAC Special was, and it works really well as such.

The little giveaways were awesome, too. I knew Doomsday would be in the last issue of Infinite Crisis, but now, to see how it comes to be, is awesome. I'm a bit confused as to how he got there. Didn't Austen basically send him into the future? I can't quite recall.

Checking the summary through internet magic...yeah. Doomsday was basically unaccounted for. He just disappeared, after working through the future. So how did he get contained? That's rough. You gotta wonder what happened to him after Austen's run...but then, they've been pretty careless with Austen's run, Birthright, and continuity ramifications at least. Luckily, Simone, Rucka, Johns, and others are very mindful of the history and good with it. I think things are on the right track, and this book affirms that.

It's funny. Reading the Action Comics #825 summary, it's revealed that if Doomsday defeats Superman, the protocol is to beam him into the Phantom Zone. Why not do that immediately? We'll see if that plays in issue seven of Infinite Crisis...

All in all, I was surprised the Six played so small a role. It alters the focus of the whole series, for the most part. But given how cool the altered focus turned out to be, no loss.

4Art - 4: I like Eaglesham's work. It doesn't stand out incredibly, but it tells the story very well. It's professional work, but it's not the kind of work that blows you away even on static pages. He's got a very good grasp of character, and of action. The panels don't really take any risks in term of format, bursting out. It's very refined and prescriptive. Often that works for a normal comic, but with the epic nature of this story, it could have walked out a little more.

Critique aside, though, you'll note the four. I like the man's work, and want to see more. I think if he steps up his game a bit or even takes a few creative risks, he'll be a real staple.

4Cover Art - 4: I like the symbolism, I like the pose. Just generally, I like the cover. It's a bit orange. In fact, it's a LOT orange. That takes it down a bit. Luthor also looks a little Goth. But just the general, explosive format, the symbolism, and the poses sell it for me. I like it.

Mild Mannered Reviews


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

January 2006

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