30 June 2014

Faster than a DC Bullet: Project Crisis!, Part XXII: Villains United

Comic trade paperback, n.pag.
Published 2005 (contents: 2005)
Borrowed from the library
Read April 2014
Villains United

Writer: Gail Simone
Pencillers: Dale Eaglesham, Val Semekis
Inkers: Wade Von Grawbadger, Prentis Rollins
Letterers: Jared K. Fletcher, Pat Brosseau

As Lex Luthor unites the villains of the world into a new Secret Society, only six villains remain outside of his organization: Catman (who I remember from Green Arrow where he got eaten by an alien portal or something), Cheshire (a recurrent enemy in Birds of Prey), Ragdoll (son of the villain from Starman), Scandal (daughter of Vandal), Deadshot (I think he's a Batman villain?), and Parademon (a parademon from Apokolips). Like the old Secret Six, they're working for a mysterious Mockingbird whose true identity and agenda remain an enigma to them.

Simone, as anyone who read Birds of Prey knows, is good at writing teams, and it is in the character dynamics that this book shines. There's a lot of fun to be had in this group of people: shame about Parademon, actually, and I was surprised by the extent to which I immediately came to like Scandal. Someday, I suppose, I'll read the Secret Six spin-off and find it's as good as everyone says it is.

Where this book becomes less interesting is in the machinations that tie more directly into the impending Infinite Crisis: half of the Secret Society's leadership is actually comprised of lame villains (I am opposed to every story which tries to convince me Deathstroke the Terminator is legit, but this group throws in "Doctor Psycho" too whose power is I think being short), and then there's some stuff about Firestorm that's not really clear; I guess I am supposed to be reading his book. (I don't know why Firestorm always has a key role in these big crossovers, but it's a tradition that has roots going all the way back to 1982's "Crisis on Earth-Prime!" See also Crisis on Infinite Earths, Legends, Millennium, and Identity Crisis. He died in that last one, and he's still back for this one! I look forward to seeing him in Final Crisis.) I must admit, though, that the Mockingbird revelation is really quite neat. I wish I hadn't known about it ahead of time.

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