Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Crime Syndicate #4 Review

Beware My Power Ring

Written By: Andy Schmidt
Art By: Kieran McKeown, Dexter Vines, Steve Oliff, Rob Leigh, Bryan Hitch, Alex Sinclair
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: June 1, 2021

We're Earth-3 bound as we take a look at what the Crime Syndicate look like after their win over the Starro Collective and not only that, but we're here to get a better understanding of who these reimagined versions of these characters are and one of the most intriguing has been John Stewart, the Emerald Knight and since this is his spotlight issue, I hope we get a ton of knowledge to understand what a Power Ring Corps looks like and how it operates. Let's jump into this issue and see what Earth-3's evolution looks like. Let's check it out.

With the idea that we're forming the Crime Syndicate in a similar way that the Justice League was formed in our own Universe, I was happy that we only spent half our mini-series dealing with Starro because it looks like the second leg of our journey is going to be even bigger and grander as we not only see more about John Stewart, the Emerald Knight, but we see the opposing factor to our villains here in the formation of the Legion of Justice with the hero Lex Luthor doing everything he can to make sure that is "evil" world becomes a peaceful one, where he can finally overcome the tyranny of Ultraman and now his new group of friends.

This is a really cool turn of events that not only ups the ante of the story in seeing how the heroes of this world would react to a Crime Syndicate's formation but also because now we're seeing how the Crime Syndicate would react to something that threatened to take their power and with that, we see a new side of these villains that's made this second half o the mini feel like it's fresh all over again. As for our Power Ring/Emerald Knight backup that tells the story of John Stewart and how he got the ring. While I liked the origin for Superwoman, I feel this one like the majority of these new origins falls a little flat in that the concepts and ideas that were originally a part of the Crime Syndicate felt hard-hitting and these reimagining of who they are and in this case, what the Power Ring is, I feel that it just kind of falls flat and I wish we saw a deeper look at this new idea of a Power Ring instead of it just being a more aggressive Green Lantern ring of this Universe.

All in all, I loved the art in this issue, the main story, the backup, everything... I just wish that I loved both stories equally because the biggest gripe I have in this is that I wish the backups were as strong as the main story because I love the Crime Syndicate and couldn't wait to see their Universe becoming new again but the majority of what we're getting for the backstories feels weaker than what it previously was and that's just a shame. Thankfully though, the main story here is really strong and interesting as hell so while the backups haven't been what I've wanted, the rest of this mini-series really has picked up steam for me to the point where I can't wait to see what comes next...... and the smaller gripe is using New Gods characters in here because whenever you use them in Multiversal ways it always feels off, but especially with the New Frontier and the Omniverse going on.

Bits and Pieces:

While the origin backups to this series have been a bit of a letdown overall, I have to say that the main story more than makes up for it as it takes this mini-series into a new and interesting direction that I can't wait to see more of. The art throughout is great and the characterizations are fun and unique and at this point, I only hope that we can balance the story out enough to allow us the time to learn more about the new characters that will be a threat to our newly formed Crime Syndicate.


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