Art by: Travel Foreman and Jeromy Cox
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: August 13, 2015
Know Your Role
I agreed to take over this book to review from Eric months ago mainly because Eric had grown tired of doing it. I wasn't thrilled by the idea of doing it, but when Eric gets tired, he gets cranky and the next thing I know, creators are yelling at us on Twitter. The funny thing is that during Convergence, DC announced the change that this book would undergo and Eric immediately wanted it back. He tried to take it by force by claiming diplomatic immunity, but I told him, "It's just been revoked" after shooting him in the head. That's how we get shit done on our site. Anyway, the idea of a rotating roster of heroes and villains joining together to rid the Zeta Beam of anomalies sounded confusing but cool and after reading last issue...it was confusing but cool. It wasn't as good as I was hoping, but it showed promise. I was hoping that this issue would give us a better understanding of what is going on while maybe letting Etrigan say a rhyme or two. Did it give me any of those things? Let's find out...
The issue opens with last weeks team, Poison Ivy, Mera, Equinox and Etrigan, stuck in the blood and guts monstrosity from last month. They may be looking for Swamp Thing, but they are busy with other things as well. Ivy is busy complaining that she shouldn't even be there (who is she, Dante?) while the whole team gets attacked by the monsters "anitbodies". Again, it's not fully explained, but it was cool to see Mera kick some ass. We then get a little insight into the overall story.
Jeff Parker uses a roundabout way of telling the reader about the Zeta Beam, Adam Strange and the breakers, but I'll go with it because it's all about gathering crazy teams to fight crazy problems. Crazy! Back with our current team, after channeling Swamp Thing, they kind of concoct a plan. Actually, it all feels like a series of mistakes that leads to the monster being destroyed. It all seemed a little too random for my tastes, but at least Etrigan ended it all with a rhyme. I love the rhymin' and stealin' Etrigan so much.
I also love Swamp Thing and it looks like he is gone, maybe forever. While I hate to see the green guy go, Jeff Parker does set up the reality that this book is going to have real consequences. People can and will die and Swamp Thing may be just the first in a longer list of casualties. The issue ends with the recruitment of the first member for the next mission...Batgirl.
If I told you I loved this issue, I'd be a big, fat liar. However, I am still intrigued by this book's concept and the idea of changing teams. It helps that because of that, if you don't like the current team, you only have to wait a couple of issues for a new one to show up. That's exactly what I was thinking through these first two issues because while I liked some of the characters individually, as a team I found them kind of lacking.
I was also not a fan of Travel Foreman's art this issue. The backgrounds were okay, but I couldn't get over how poorly he drew the characters, especially Mera. At points she looked bigger than Lou Ferrigno and it really bothered me. Everything changed in the final pages where he nailed the new look Batgirl and Stargirl.
Bits and Pieces:
While I'm still intrigued by this new direction, I can't say I enjoyed this issue. Jeff Parker seems to be learning on the job and this first team was an unfortunate casualty of that. Just when the reader starts figuring things out, this issue and team are done. All is not lost, however, as we get a peek at the first recruit for next month's team and it's a fun choice. I hope the issue follows suit because this series should be more fun than we got so far.