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Stories! Stories! Getcha Stories Here! Four fa’
On Sale Date: May 11, 2016
*NON SPOILERS AND SCORE AT THE BOTTOM*
One unintended side effect of binding four comic
books together is that, when read as a whole, it tends to feel like you’ve read
four comics in a row. That might not be a problem if you’re reading four
particularly engaging comics books, or even four comic books that have anything
to do with each other. But when it’s four comic books that are each uniquely
deficient in their own way, that disappointed feeling can compound over eighty
pages until it becomes outright malaise. This is not the 1970s and I do not
manage a dentist’s office; I don’t need bulk-rate discounts on four-color funny
books that wouldn’t even rate a pilfering. This is, of course, Reggie’s opinion
on the issue, but Eric and I are still going to tackle this beast of mediocrity
the way we always have: two books apiece, joining our individual scores at the
end into a mighty Voltron. Or will it be a lame-ass Insecticon? You’ll have to
read on to find out!
Firestorm In "United We Fall Part 3" Written By: Gerry Conway Art By: Edwardo Pansica, Rob Hunter, Andrew Dalhouse, Cory Breen Explain It!
In this issue of Firestorm we get right to the nitty gritty by jumping right into the fight between Major Force and the Nuclear Man. In the previous issue we saw that Major Force was ordered to go after our hero and I guess with a six issue limit on our hands, we don't have time to deal with things like Major Force hunting down our hero or banter before a fight. Really though, this issue is pretty much a team building exercise for Professor Stein and Ronnie since this is the first time that they've been Firestorm together and goddamn is it a trial by fire because Major Force not only gets the okay to take him down at any cost, but the military comes in as backup and I don't know if any amount of transmutation is going to help our fire headed friend. While the majority of this book is an all out slug fest, we do have some downtime with Multiplex and his nuclear physicist hostage as we find out that Danton's plan for this mini involves.......... something about breaking the quantum realm as a way to separate himself from his duplicates........ or something. I don't know, it all seems pretty out there and as we all know, I'm no rocket surgeon.
All in all though, this isn't a terrible issue, it's just light on anything that isn't a big ass fight between Firestorm and Major Force......... but if that's what you've been waiting to see since it's been awhile since we've gotten any real Firestorm action out of DC Comics, then maybe this is the issue for you. Sadly, I found myself missing Jason Rusch in this issue because while I do enjoy Multiplex as a villain, his over the top nuclear physicist talk just didn't really do it for me and we did leave Jason with his fate left up in the air left issue and I would have liked to check in on him at least. The art in this story was great though and issue after issue I find myself wishing that Firestorm had his own series again with this art team because they really rock the Nuclear Man.
in “Two Worlds, One Destiny Part 3: Brave New World”
Written By: Aaron Lopresti
Art By: Aaron Lopresti, Jonathan Glapion, Chris Sotomayor
Letters By: Michael Heisler
After hopping in that portal opened by the Orb of Ra
and winding up in the middle of a clash between white folk and blue folk from
another dimension, Rex “Metamorpho” Mason snaps out when his handler Sapphire
Stag is tackled by a blue dude (in some of the worst stereotyping we have seen
since Birth of a Nation, this is 2016
people) and gets a boo boo on her arm. Metamorpho does a Plastic Man shtick to
send the blue folk—who, I will point out, did not have the same opportunities
as the white folk—scattering to the hills, and the remaining white people
regard Rexy as some kind of prophesized savior, because that’s actually a
pretty good reaction to anyone that can turn their fists and arms into lethal
wrecking balls and where a quarter of their body mass is gas. Rex and Sapphire
go back to white people HQ (an Apple store, probably) and get told this story,
oh guys it is just the stupidest story that I have no desire to recount. The
short of it is that the Orb of Ra opens portals to other dimensions and also
dispenses retribution because that’s what orbs are about, baby. But there was
this other orb, that got mad because the Orb of Ra was so popular I guess, and
cut off its magic from this other dimension of white and blue people, which is
why it looks like a cragged, barren hellhole today. So the white dude enlists
Metamorpho and Sapphire to go with a team that includes his sixteen year-old
daughter to fetch this orb (which only Rex can handle, according to prophecy)
and make things right again. Meanwhile, Kanjar Ro has followed Rex and Sapphire
through the portal and is going to cause some kind of mischief, I just know it!
So this story took a turn, and I don’t think I like
it. I suppose traveling to another dimension to save a bunch of veritable
aliens is one way to spend your first day outside of captivity, but I would
have preferred to see more of Metamorpho’s element-handling powers and less of
his stretchy body parts powers, if we’re going to see him at all. The story of
this alternate dimension’s plight was too confusing to hold my interest, and
there was some dialogue I winced at—particularly from Sapphire, who seems
downright patronizing to the main white dude’s sixteen year-old daughter, Neith.
The art is still pretty spectacular, and when Metamorpho does go all stretchy
it looks awesome. I’m just struggling to pay attention to this story within a
story, I think I might have preferred to see things get resolved with Simon
Stagg before flitting off to this fake-ass Conan
the Barbarian scenario.
Spike in “Sugar’s Bad Day”
Written By: Keith Giffen
Art By: Bilquis Evely, Ivan Plascencia
Letters By: Tom Napolitano
Sigh. You guys know I love you, right? I love and
respect all of my millions and perhaps billions of loyal readers who scrutinize
every word of my comic book reviews for insightful commentary and new fart
jokes. So when I have to relay a story like this, one that seems like it was
thought up by the author while he was on the crapper…well, I feel like it does
us both a disservice. Yes, even despite having used the word “crapper.” Some
comic books are that pointless. So
here’s my due diligence: Sugar and Spike are contracted by Wonder Woman to hunt
down some shape-shifter she almost married in her younger days, and who is now
parading around media outlets saying they were married. Sugar meets this guy,
who is dressed like the Toyman or something, and is probably some Silver Age
relic (a point that is not clarified, nor do I give a fuck about), and they
have coffee while he mansplains a few things to her. Then Spike and Sugar track
him back to his apartment, and bust in to find that there are four
shapeshifters, then somehow she instinctively know this is some sort of scam to
wheedle superheroes of their fame or some such stupid nonsense. She makes them
change to their real forms, and they’re green werewolves (again, probably some
Silver Age character that showed up in one issue of Showcase, and again, I don’t care), which are then subdued and sent
to S.T.A.R. Labs and oh god I’ve spent too much time describing this tripe.
Bilquis Evely’s artwork is good. Very good. Like “they
should have a book at Image” good, or “aren’t you supposed to be drawing Archie?” good. Keith Giffen’s story is
insulting, boring, and not engaging to the point of practically being an
ejector seat. Sheldon Moldoff should rise from his grave and put this comic out
of its misery. And then draw like a hundred Scribbly
strips, please. Heck, he can even bring back the original Sugar and Spike.
The Metal Men In Tempest In A Teacup
Written By: Len Wein
Art By: Yildiray Cinar, Trevor Scott, Dean White, Steve Wands
Like Firestorm's story, this Metal Men issue is one big ass fight, but here it's between our heroes and the first full issue of Red Tornado in the New 52/DCYou......... Prime-Earth suckas. Sadly, we didn't get Robot Man joining the fight like I would have liked, but we still have three more issues for all the robotic style heroes to get together and........ I don't know, kill all humans? That's what robots do right? So yeah, a big ass fight scene at a second rate Six Flags and the possibility that the government will try to create their own Metal Men out of Dr. Magnus' original responsometer prototype........... Really, that's about it, besides for our team freeing Red Tornado from Nameless' control and then being surrounded by an actual army. That's right, I guess the government isn't taking any chances when it comes to bringing the Metal Men into their custody.
After last issue didn't offer up much in the way of excitement, I guess Len Wein decided to go all out here and show us what the Metal Men can really do........... which isn't a lot. Understand, I love the Metal Men, but them just transforming into rails so that a roller coaster doesn't come crashing down and joining together to make a giant Bell Jar as a way to cut off the air to Red Tornado just doesn't really equal excitement in my book, but luckily the individual personalities of the Metal Men really shine in this story and even though the battle was a little lackluster, I still had a good time reading this. Like we've seen with every other issue, the art is spectacular and I find myself just lingering on pages during the story because of how perfect our heroes are depicted.
Bits and Pieces:
Just like the other two times, it doesn't seem fair to rate this entire book with one score, since it's four individual comics that have nothing to do with one another that happen to be under one cover. But since folks do like their facts and figures, we've provided the average score below so you can file it away like some crafty statistician.