Tuesday, June 21, 2005

SPOILER Review: Day of Vengeance #3

The third installment of the all-mystic-all-the-time INFIITE CRISIS tie in mini-series kicks things up a notch. While most of our rag tag band of second string heroes takes on Eclipso while Captain Marvel fights a losing battle against the Specter, the third stringers -- that’s Detective Chimp and Nightshade for those keeping score at home -- scour Dayton , Ohio for “the one mortal (potentially) more powerful than the Specter.” Oh yeah, that mortal appears to be an underage girl.

The battle against Eclipso and the Specter is narrated by Blue Devil. While buildings crumble and burn, he waxes not-quite-philosophical about his origins and the origins of his companions. But he never quite gets there, never really giving us an insight into who he, or any of his fellows, is. Ironically, he goes on for more than a few panels about Captain marvel, the once character in this whole story that even the casual reader is likely to recognize. I realize I keep kicking this deceased equine, but I can’t help it: tell us who your protagonists are, for the sake of all that is holy. All the while, it looks bad for the good guys -- Ragman manages to eradicate a number of the damned souls trapped in his cloak when he tries to pull Eclipso in, and Blue Devil himself gets flung across the city by one of her backhands. Captain marvel doesn’t look any better and everyone knows that as the Specter continues to draw out his magic, he is going to weaken until he’s gone. But Marvel doesn’t give up, swearing that it won’t end until either he or the Specter lies dead if the Specter doesn’t give up. It is a pretty intense version of Marvel’s character, but given the dire circumstances, it doesn’t feel out of place, but instead underscores how desperate the situation has become.

Meanwhile, Nightshade and Detective Chimp banter on the streets of Dayton while he talks to household pets and she keeps them from being noticed by the muggles and whines about being a third stringer. Yay.

Back where the action is, Blue Devil finds the Enchantress just standing around -- or, seemingly so. Devil has expected Marvel to fall already, but finds that Enchantress is funneling her power to the The World’s Mightiest Mortal. They craft a plan and the Enchantress requests the energies of all the living magicians, sorcerers and monsters in the world, good and evil alike, to help. Everyone from Green lanter Alan Scott to the incidental magicians living all around us give Marvel their power and he comes back powerful enough to put the fear of Shazam into the Specter. For his part, Blue Devil skewers -- apparently killing -- Eclipso. Even as Marvel begins to gain the upper hand on the Specter, Enchantress doesn’t look so hot channeling all that power. For those not in the know, Enchantress is a mean drunk when she’s had too much mana to drink.

In the end, we learn the name of the little girl who might just take down the Specter (if Marvel doesn’t do it before Enchantress goes all evil): Lori Zechlin. I’d appreciate it if anyone out there could tell me who the hell that is.

Overall, the issue was on par for the series, which isn’t necessarily saying a whole lot. I like the art, and the dialogue is good, but it just doesn’t have the weight to it that OMAC and the other mini-series have. It is my least favorite of the lead ins, but that is partially motivated by my unfamiliarity with the characters. It’s certainly worth picking up, but I give it a 6 out of 10.

13 Comments:

Blogger Lex said...

Personally, I think this is the best of IC prelude minis. Villains United is decent because of Gail Simone's writing, but the other two are dumb and boring.

I love Day of Vengeance because it showcases underused and forgotten characters like Ragman, Blue Devil and Detective Chimp. It's more compelling to have these characters save the world than Dr. Fate or someone who can probably wave their hand and solve everything. The exciting part for the readers is supposed to be "How are these guys going to save the day?"

Also, Lori Zechlin = Black Alice. She was a vigilante from Birds of Prey. The BoP dealt with her because she kept killing the bad guys she was after. Black Alice's power is very interesting. She can borrow power from any magical person/thing she can think of. In the BoP story, she borrowed power from Dr. Fate, Zatanna and Captain Marvel. I'm betting that they will use her to steal some of the Spectre's power. She's a cool character so I look forward to seeing her.

(I had to look up the name "Lori Zechlin" even though I read that BoP story.)

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