Scheduled to arrive in stores: August 11, 2020
Cover date: October 2020
“Chaos” – Part Two
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artists: Kevin Maguire & John Timms
Cover: Ivan Reis, Joe Prado & Alex Sinclair
Variant Cover: Bryan Hitch & Alex Sinclair
Reviewed by: Adam Dechanel
Xanadoth has invaded the Tower of Fate, stating that he was its original owner, and tries to take the helmet by force. Despite his vulnerability to magic Superman steps in to prevent Khalid losing his new mantle.
Xanadoth uses several summoning spells to fight Khalid and Superman. The helmet uses his connection to Khalid to give him the history of their new foe. The helmet teleports Khalid away leaving Superman to fight alone.
With both Superman and the newly merged Xanadoth inexperienced in magic they can only match each other as equals. Fate reappears and reminds Superman that the most powerful mystics are in the Hall of Justice, and they only need to open the door to have their assistance. Superman dons the helmet and is able to break open the tower’s door and they exorcise Xanadoth from his human host.
Later Superman and Dr Fate arrange for a continued counselling after the revelation Superman had been previously bottling up.
Agent Bisette meanwhile is recovering in hospital, with no knowledge of Event Leviathan and the fall of the DEO, which she still believes exists. Weak, barely noticeable mystic energy emanates from Bisette, perhaps Xanadoth isn’t as beaten as they thought…
Story – 3: Stretching out the story from last issue we finally see it end. The story itself felt like the equivalent of a TV series back door pilot. Superman is the cameo guest in a story introducing the new Dr. Fate and his new nemesis Xanadoth.
The most annoying thing is last issue, if it had cut down the padding, could have used this issue for a new story. As it is, nothing is revelatory and this issue literally retreads everything. The resulting story is Dr. Fate now being the mystical equivalent of Blue Beetle and a new magic villain. Superman enters and exits the story as a bystander. Aside from keeping Xanadoth from the helmet Superman served no real purpose in his own book.
Art – 4: Timms and Maguire do a great job this issue of showing the effects of magic. It definitely helps elevate the story with a level of power and peril to make Xanadoth a credible threat. It seems strange that time was spent to create the villain and quickly make him a powerful threat only for him to be defeated in one panel. I feel sometimes that the artists are given nothing to work with, personally, that makes me value them and their work even more. If not for the art this would have been a forgettable two parter.
Cover Art – 4: A great cover, a usual misdirect that DC is famous for but it’s a pretty awe inspiring visual. I think this is a really nicely realized cover that, as mentioned, already only illustrates where the writing is going wrong.
Variant Cover Art – 4: This variant has a cinematic feel to it. Indeed, it evokes memories of the 1978 movie and the race to repair the San Andreas fault. I really like the viewpoint here, it really makes you feel a part of the scene.
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