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Mild Mannered Reviews - DC Universe

DC Universe Online Legends #18

DC Universe Online Legends #18

Scheduled to arrive in stores: November 30, 2011

Cover date: Late January 2012

"War Zone"

Writer: Marv Wolfman
Penciller: Howard Porter
Inker: Livesay

Jeffrey Taylor Reviewed by: Jeffrey Taylor

Click to enlarge

For the third time in a row, Superman does not appear in this title. I'm not going to fault the story for this and I even enjoyed the two Green Lantern issues. But again, this is the Superman Homepage. However, Lex Luthor does continue to play a role, so I'll give it due diligence. But here's hoping that Superman hasn't already flown off to the Sun where we saw him at the beginning of the DC Universe Online game video.

As we open, two teams are attacking Brainiac's ship hoping that he's still off fighting Green Lanterns. One team is comprised of The Atom, Cyborg, Wonder Girl, Blue Devil, Mr. Freeze and ... Breathtaker?? We get six pages of them running around and fighting to essentially keep Brainiac busy while the real team of Batman, Wonder Woman, Dr. Fate, Catwoman and Lex Luthor work their way into Brainiac's stronghold undetected.

But then they're detected. They make it through ok and Batman has the strength to kick the door in so Lex can start messing with the computers so he can reaffirm information that has already been established.

Luthor goes off on a tangent about how good his intentions were and instead of pointing out the flaws in his arguments, Wonder Woman simply accuses him of lying. Lex offers to say it again with her lasso around him, but thanks to a sci-fi plot loophole, she doesn't think it would work through his new armor and for the first time in sci-fi history, technology trumps magic.

So Batman points out that one of Brainiac's robots has a macrochip marked "Lexcorp" which proves what Lex has already acknowledged that he's responsible, even though that's what Luthor was just talking about and this has already been established one page ago and about eight other times in the course of the series.

A failsafe warning goes off telling everyone to clear out because detonation will occur in five more minutes. Batman orders the first team to evacuate and they all leave, except Luthor who zooms the rest of the way in so fast that the auto-defenses miss him. Batman expects that Luthor was just luring them into a trap.

It turns out that the bottle cities in Brainiac's ship were expanding and now they're all in one place, toppling towers over each other and the inhabitants are not at all pleased

To be continued...

1Story - 1: I love Marv Wolfman, but this was horrible. I couldn't help but point out a lot of the plot flaws in my synopsis, but here are some parts I skipped.

Breathtaker. That's right. They needed one more character to fill the team and they chose an obscure character with the power to vacuum out people's lungs. I'm sure she'll have a great effect on Brainiac. In fact, she shows up, gets shot and slows the team down. They're escaping from hunters that Brainiac had bottled up, then released and they fight on his side for... no apparent reason.

There's no reason why this needed to be two teams. In face a full frontal assault probably would have been safer because of the sheer numbers. I'm ok with the effect turning out to be useless, but it was poorly planned to begin with.

Lex goes off on his hypocritical high horse about how he doesn't trust aliens. I still have to believe that Lex is smarter than this since he chose to side with one alien: Brainiac, in order to take out another alien: Superman. Then there's this whole thing about how he doesn't like masks even though he's guiltier of façade than Batman. He pretends to be a business man, but he murders left and right like a tyrant and the world outside of the superheroes don't know about it and still think he's spiffy.

The writing in general was lazy and more often than not, characters talk just to say something instead of advancing any plot or providing worthwhile insight to character motivations.

The only consistent thing about this series is that it's been consistently inconsistent. There's a very good chance that I will adore the next issue, but I just have to give this one a failing grade.

1Art - 1: I've gone off on this art team a lot. It's just not my style and I usually don't care for it, but my sense is that the writing was rushed because I expect more from Wolfman. And if I'm correct about that, it follows that the art must have been rushed too. And it shows.

I'm sure there's a story this team could be a part of that would make sense and I would enjoy, but it would have to be something with less characters because more characters means taking more time to draw them all effectively and effective drawing is a huge part of what this issue is missing.

2Cover Art - 2: Now that I've ripped apart most of this book, the best thing I can say about the cover is that it isn't horrible. It's a little goofy and off-balance, but Wonder Woman looks good and Batman looks ok, even though his body is in a weird position at a weird angle. I don't know what Atom is supposed to be doing, but his cheek bones are higher than Jay and Silent Bob, and pushed apart twice as far as any human being's face, ever. The background gives away the reveal on the last page, but at least it's so hard to make out that it doesn't really matter.

Mild Mannered Reviews


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

January 2012

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