Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Legion of Doom #2 review


Heatwave continues his bid to break out of flying prison the Hall of Doom, aided by Eel O'Brien, the stretchable stinker who hates to be known as Plastic Man. They battle unofficial prison guards Atomic Skull and Animal Man, and find out who's controlling the executing Amazo android that put paid to KGBeast, Slipknot and Shadow Thief.

It's Ray Palmer, the Atom, one-legged in the World of Flashpoint due to white dwarf star radiation poisoning. He winds up crushed between Heatwave's fingers. Animal Man has his nose bitten off, before Heatwave kerbs and kills him. Oh, and the issue begins with Cluemaster turned into a human kebab.

By the end of the book, Heatwave has triumphed over all, with neither metahuman abilities nor access to his heat gun. Yep, he's been egging Plastic Man on, but his win is mainly down to writer Adam Glass favouring him in this second of three. Glass's attitude seems to be that as Flashpoint is basically an Elseworlds and heroes can be killed, well, may as well moida da bums. And if you can laugh at the ghost of the Comics Code Authority along the way, huzzah.

It's my own fault. I didn't enjoy last issue, and came back this time only to see what the deal was with Plastic Man. I was hoping to see Eel's basic good nature break through, but it turns out he's as much of a scumbag as Heatwave.

While the brutality isn't to my taste, the self-deluding Animal Man - willing to kill Heatwave out of self-interest but telling himself he's a hero - is intriguing. I'd be interested in learning who did murder his family, a crime he denies carrying out. 

And the link to the Green Arrow one-shot is smart, while the disability twist on the Atom is clever - it's  just a shame that the twist is followed by a squish. Glass seems to enjoy prison brutality too much for my stomach, and if this mini-series is an indication of his approach to the upcoming Suicide Squad book, DC won't be getting my pennies.

Oh, and despite the title, there's still no grouping of villains that may be considered a Legion of Doom.

Rodney Buchemi's layouts are efficient, and he does well with emotion and movement. Jose Marzan Jr's finishes are typically lush. And Arthur Fujita manages to set the orange prison uniforms against the facility's green walls without ever making me feel ill. Together, the artists create a tense, visceral world that serves the nasty script well. And it's all nicely lettered by Dave Sharpe and topped off with a fantastic cover by Miguel Sepulveda and Jose Villarrubia - I rather like the treatment of Animal Man's costume, with that rubbery 'A'.

With one more issue to go, I can see me buying the finale to see what happens, but after two reviews saying this just isn't my cup of caffeine, I promise to shut up. 

9 comments:

  1. Animal Man was accused of killing his family back in the Morrison days, wasn't he? And then Morrison restored it magically.

    So Reverse-Flash took Morrison out? Or simply prevented Buddy from entering Comic Book Limbo to find his creator?

    As for the issue, I completely agree with you. What a complete drag. Ridiculous brutality, shock horror spectacle, not at all subtle or interesting. Bodes ill for Suicide Squad (Glass has also been quoted as not favoring human character moments for "hardened criminals". It's gonna be the anti-Secret Six, I can see it now... and the anti-Ostrander's SS too.)

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  2. Ah, of course that's what the story refers too ... and I was looking at the cover for those issues only last week. Thanks so much.

    Suicide Squad, I'll try, as I always do, but I wish DC were having Ostrander do it. Why is it that comic companies usually believe a new guy is bound to beat an established talent from an earlier generation?

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  3. Worse still, by making statements like "Deadshot won't be playing cards with Bronze Tiger" as if such scenes are wrong-headed, it seems like Glass is criticizing Ostrander's run (even if I don't think there ever was such a scene).

    Ostrander's run. The run that defined the Squad and many of its recurring characters. One of the most praised and best remembered comics of its era. A run that still feels fresh and relevant today despite the pre-Glasnost politics found within.

    Mr. Glass, you should be telling us you'll try to achieve even a 10th of what Ostrander did. Alas.

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  4. Nigel over in sportWednesday, 27 July, 2011

    A human kebab! Can we have pic?

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  5. Yeah, I felt the same way about the issue - as noted over on my blog Martin's View. I am very disappointed in this mini and will only get next issue to see Cyborg put an end to this disaster.

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  6. Siskoid, I agree, Ostrander's run should be honoured and emulated, while Glass brings something of himself to it. I'll be interested to see what his alternate approach is, but likely won't stick around for long.

    Nigel, OK, if you bring me a cuppa.

    Off to have a read, Martin!

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  7. I can't find it at the link, Martin!

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  8. I've had a violence problem with all the Flashpoint comics--it does seem like an excuse to kill off as many characters as possible. I've started to wonder how these folks have all survived so long in the "real" universe.

    But of course, part of the plot of Flashpoint is what the world would have been like without Superman (among either small changes). So it sort of makes sense--EXCEPT that that issue isn't touched on in most of these issues. (I can imagine the problem: why would characters lament the absence of someone they never knew about?)

    I wonder if anyone has done a body count of the entire series so far. Just on the hero side, I can think of (SPOILERS)








    Mera, Garth, Atom, Firestorm (Jason), Animal Man, Hawkwoman, Catman, Congorilla, Dr. Fate, Mr. (& Mrs.) Terrific, Rising Sun, Mme. Xanadu, Wally West, Patty Spiven, Warlord, Amethyst....


    Who else am I missing?

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  9. In terms of existing heroes - so the likes of Ginny Greenteeth dinnae count - I think you have them all. It is rather horrible, the apparent glee taken in killing good guys.

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