Tuesday, November 02, 2010

the Mighty Crusaders #2, #3 and #4 - DC

Theoretically, this should be a great story. The teams have just been put together, and they're thrown into the middle of something that could end up having a huge affect on the DC Universe. The Durlans have brought their conflict to Earth. Generations ago there was a war . . a kind of civil-war, I guess, that was fought on between the Durlans. It's called 'the Six-Minute War'. Anyways, that war reduced their planet, and civilization, to a near-barbaric state. Since then, they've divided into 2 factions . . the Futurist Durlans, and the Purist Durlans. 'The Futurists and Purists are fighting to gain control of the nanotech core. It carries within it the baseline genome of our race. From before we were forever altered by our 'Six-Minute War'. Sheba and her Purist followers are a cult of lunatics. They envision a new golden age, built on ancestral worship. We call ourselves Futurists because we believe in progress. The purists seek to reset the genetic makeup of our people. They want to force us to devolve! If the core is activated here, it will read every genome on the planet and adjust accordingly. There is a genetic time bomb hidden on the planet Earth, and it is ticking away.' This 'nanotech core' apparently was hidden somewhere on Earth ages ago by their ancestors. Anyways, this really is the crux of the story. However, along the way, we're getting lots of references and cross-overs into the DC Universe. Which, I think, is the real purpose of this story . . to immerse these characters in with the existing throng on 'heroes'. I think it also serves to define them as a team. They aren't the typical 'save the Earth, and avoid collateral damage' type of heroes . . like the Justice League. These guys are basically a government run group of 'heroes'. Actually, calling them 'heroes' would probably be a bit of a stretch. They're more like government agents, who happen to have powers. And while they are out to save the world, they're still operating on the government's agenda. Which translates . . 'the results outweigh the means'. Or . . 'do whatever is necessary to complete the mission'. They've even got this group divided up into 2 teams. The Web, the Shield, Fly-Girl, War Eagle and Inferno are the 'road-team'. They're the face of the Crusaders . . who the public sees when they're fighting crime. While the Hangman, Black Hood and Jaguar are they're shadow-team. They're the team that does the dirty work . . the stuff the public doesn't want to see. And of course we still have the Comet and the Fox running around out there. Currently they're in Japan. And they're being folded into the story, gradually, from the outside. But they're working their way in . . whether they want to or not. Along the way, there's been a ton of references and glimpse of the DC Universe. As I said, I think this is to show how immersed these characters have actually become. They overlap with the DMA, King Farraday and Wayne-Tech . . to name a few. They even overlap with the Super Young Team, from Crisis Aftermath, when someone sees the Comet in Japan and thinks that he looks like Most Excellent Super-bat. There also have been other occurrences of this Durlan threat in the DC Universe. In the recent Great Ten storyline it's hinted that some of their powers come from Durlan technology, or genetics. And there was a Durlan threat seen in Superman/Batman #68 and #69. As I said in the very beginning . . this should be a great story. I mean . . Eric S Trautmann is writing it. And as we've seen from the recent Shield series, the guy writes a great story and seems to have the whole government / tactical mission part down to a 't'. His stories are very intricate and involved, but flow and make a kind of sense that someone without his obvious knowledge couldn't achieve. My problem, I think, comes on 2 fronts. First of all . . I don't really have an investment in these characters. I know that's what the individual series were about . . getting the reader to know the characters. But I don't think that they achieved that. So, to me, the best part of this book is the story, and not necessarily the characters involved in said story. Does that make sense? Anyways, I'm approaching it from an interest in what happens in the DC Universe, more than from an interest in what actually happens to these characters. Secondly, the artwork doesn't really thrill me. And it's not consistent. Julian Lopez and Carlos Rodriguez does issue #2. While #3 is done by Carlos and Sergio Arino. And finally in #4 Carlos takes on the work himself. But none of them really thrill me. Now the covers . . the covers are by Stanley Lau, and they look incredible. As you can see. Anyways, we still have 2 issues to go. So it could end up having a thrilling ending. I don't know. But if you're only marginally interested in this book . . I'd wait for the TPB. Read it all in one sitting . . and don't spend as much money.

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