Voices in my head.
This week, the mystical conflict introduced another of its occult cast – leading to a very surprising and welcome cliffhanger.
Tom knows the DC Universe very well, and pulls ideas out of disparate corners of the DC mythos to help build up a world where heroes are divided, some more than others.
But the problem this year has been the expandability. With such a large cast and the limited number of issues, introductions and departures feel rushed – although Tom does do justice to most of the characters.
Mark Millar and Bruno Redondo divide art duties and it’s not their best effort. There are some visuals that really strike as amazing, but the overall quality is below par for this book.
Superman is convinced by Shazam and Sinestro to spare Constantine, both for widely different reasons. But in their journey back to the Hall of Justice, Deadman is able to possess Shazam and with a little help from Zatanna, able to rescue Constantine.
Boston continues to try and contact Jim Corrigan, the human host of the Spectre, but Billy is able to forcefully eject him from his body – with a little help of the Spectre.
Deadman realizes that the host of the Spectre is no longer Corrigan, but before he can escape, he’s fatally wounded.
He returns to Nanda Parbat and the entity that gave him this ability allows him to pass it on to another deceased soul – Nightwing aka Dick Grayson.
Meanwhile, at the Tower of Fate, Batman and Constantine have a confrontation about the failed plan to capture Superman’s soul with Zatanna playing peace-maker.
Realizing Xanadu’s premonitions are coming true, John and Bruce visit the Swamp Thing, and find him decidedly against helping the Resistance. Apparently, Superman’s regime has forced humanity to stop wasting natural resources – something the Avatar of the Green agrees with.
As they leave in defeat, John decides that the Swamp Thing needs to be taken care of.
Coming back to the start of the issue, it’s interesting to note how Superman interacts with Billy. He almost seems like the old caring Clark, respectful of a younger compatriot’s opinion – and he actually thanks Shazam for saving him. This is in stark contrast to how he behaves with Constantine, threatening him with heat vision inches from his cheek.
Sinestro on the other hand wants to torture him back at base camp. Makes your insides squirm that someone like Billy Batson is among a group of murderers and dictators – and if you know his final fate, that makes the feeling worse.
Our newest DC occult character is Boston Brand. Codenamed Deadman, he is a ghost of a murdered acrobat (in some cases, a mentor to Dick Grayson at Hayley’s Crisis pre-Robin) who was given this ability by Rama Kushna, the deity of Nanda Parbat, for balancing the world.
He is able to possess bodies and him doing this on Shazam gives us an insight into how Shazam in being portrayed here. Despite Boston’s reasonable arguments, Billy refuses to believe Superman is anything but good – so much, that he is able to forcefully draw Deadman out of him, something most people can’t do (maybe you should’ve possessed Supes, Boston after rescuing Constantine. Food for thought.)
Now I get to my main point – Nightwing is back!!! Most of us were under whelmed by how he was bumped off in Year One, and as I said before, he seemed an obvious choice to be the new Deadman due to connections to the Circus. Hopefully he will be able to help Bruce a little and get closure before finally moving on.
Swamp Thing was also introduced and he actually made some really good points for not getting involved in this fight against Superman. Through I do wonder whether he would act in this without being provoked – obviously Constantine will do something that will force his hand.
This introduction of new characters before we have the chance to mourn their loss is a severe problem this week. Rory and Boston both died in single issue appearances, thus rendering their roles a little contrived for plot reasons. Xanadu, Detective Chimp and Dr Fate have been spectators at best – with Zatanna and Klarion playing minimal roles.
I know the central focus of the Resistance will be on Constantine, but the large yet transient cast is proving detrimental to the flow of this series.
There were some interesting character interactions, but the large cast is proving a problem in focusing on the story at hand.
Characters are introduced and then got rid of at the drop of a hat, leaving little time for focusing on their contributions to the overarching plot.
The artwork is also below par, especially from Mark Millar, despite some intermittent stunning visuals.
So, I give it 7.5 out of 10.
+The character interactions
+Shazam gets some nice character moments
+Some stunning visuals
-Overall artwork was poor in nature
-Characters proving too expendable too fast
-Flow of the issue a little frantic