10 February 2016

Faster than a DC Bullet: Project Crisis!, Part XLII: Countdown Presents: Lord Havok and the Extremists

Comic trade paperback, n.pag.
Published 2008 (contents: 2007-08) 

Borrowed from the library
Read June 2015
Countdown Presents: Lord Havok and the Extremists

Writer: Frank Tieri
Pencillers: Liam Sharp, Mark Robinson
Inkers: Liam Sharp, Rob Hunter, Mark McKenna, Mark Irwin, Mark Pennington, Sandu Florea
Colorists: Dave Baron, Kanila Tripp
Letterers: Pat Brosseau, John J. Hill, Rob Leigh, Steve Wands, Travis Lanham

So, I am as big a fan of Justice League Europe as you'll find. Years before I really got into comics collecting, I had complete runs of three series: Alpha Flight, Star Trek: Early Voyages, and Justice League Europe. Yeah, I have weird tastes. I was drawn to its seeming absurdity of premise (the Justice League... in Europe!), but I stayed because I loved the characters, especially Elongated Man, who remains a favorite to this day.

All this to say, is that I think the Extemists are dumb and probably the worse part of JLE. I think they appeared twice (in the storylines The Extremist Vector and Breakdowns), and as pompously serious dark and gritty genocidal villains, they were a complete mismatch for the fun tone of JLE. JLE could get serious when it needed to, but this was not the way to do it. Maybe they were intended as a commentary on the excesses of 1990s gritty comics, but then the commentary did not land. If as a hardcore fan of JLE, I don't give a crap about the Extremists... then who does?

Despite that, DC brought them back for Countdown to Final Crisis and even devoted a six-issue miniseries to their backstory! I can't fathom why. Countdown to Final Crisis is inexplicable enough; why does it have two six-issue miniseries that tie into it? Why would you pay money for this? What artistic purpose does this book serve? I don't mean "artistic" in a high-faluting way, I mean, "Why would anyone enjoy reading this?"

Answer: no one would. This is another Final Crisis tie-in that isn't worth the paper it's printed on.

Next Week: The suffering is over-- or is it? Either way, we've reached the end of the Countdown and it's time for the Final Crisis!

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