Alex Lynch Reviews: JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #7.4, METALLO #1 & More! [Part 1]
Unfortunately I've been quite busy this week so here are a few reviews from this week including the Black Adam one-shot by Sterling Gates, the Action Comics Metallo book and Doomsday's own book! Don't worry, more reviews tomorrow...
Justice League Of America 7.4 – Black Adam
Sterling Gates is quickly becoming one of my favorite new comic writers and that is because his stories are so far pretty well done and engaging and rarely anything is convoluted. This Black Adam book is almost as good as his Killer Frost one-shot a few weeks back and I’m really excited to see where DC comics takes Gates next.
This Black Adam one-shot features Khandaq’s “Sons Of Adam” finally trying to figure out a way to bring back Black Adam as ruler of the nation since they believe the myth from thousands of years ago to be true. I’ve never really known Black Adam’s origins but I have always been a fan of the character so this issue was a great little “catch-up” piece considering it tells almost everything there is to know, including how he got “dusted” by Shazam earlier in the New 52. Basically, in this story, the “Sons Of Adam”, worshippers who believe in the myth that Black Adam had come to Khandaq and killed their first ruler (who was an incredibly despicable dictator) and soon because Khandaq’a protector. Now, since Khandaq’s current leader is just as bad, the Sons Of Adam attempt to revive Black Adam after he was dusted by Shazam. It was a very interesting concept and the characters in the book are all pretty likable. This book has almost everything you need in a comic, tragedy, character development, action and jaw-dropping moments. The tie to Forever Evil is also very well done too which sets up some interesting stuff. Sterling Gates is doing cliffhangers the right way with the Villain’s Month titles, and he’s correctly twining them into the book’s story instead of just telling a horribly boring story for the sake of setting up another book.
Another thing I really loved about this issue was Edgar Salazar’s pencils, which where straight-up awesome with some beautiful linework. Combining his pencils with an above-average coloring job, this Black Adam one-shot makes a great example of what Villain’s Month should be all about. However, the only thing I didn’t like about the book is that the ending sort-of seemed somewhat rushed in my opinion and seemed like we didn’t get enough of Black Adam’s antics, but the final page was incredibly superb and badass so my hat is off to them for that. I definitely recommend this one this week!
Batman/Superman 3.1 – Doomsday
Honestly, I think Greg Pak is one of my favorite writers at DC right now for the Krypton stuff he’s writing. Now, I haven’t read Batman/Superman yet because I’m waiting for the trade, but I found this issue really disappointing to be honest.
This book gave Lara (Kal-El’s mother) a military background which I felt was sort of unnecessary and in the bigger scheme of things, is quite unimportant as well. In this story, she apparently helps stop the invading Doomsday from killing everyone until Zod arrives and starts a destructive battle over Krypton similarly to how Superman and Zod fought in Man Of Steel which ended in mass-destruction (sort of felt like a jab).
Apparently, this is all we’re told about Doomsday. He simply appears on Krypton and fights Zod eventually killing thousands and then Zod is locked way in the Phantom Zone (possibly with Doomsday). The rest of the book features a young Kara talking to Zod through holographic Phantom Zone technology as he is trying to escape and using her as bait, he tries to scare her. Really, though, this isn’t what I thought I was getting, but maybe it’s because I don’t read Batman/Superman or something but what I was hoping for is a great origin story book from Greg Pak such as the Zod one-shot. I was hoping for a story that told how Doomsday was created, how Krypton stopped him and how he got to Earth in just a simple fashion like that but with that re-imaginative twist. I couldn’t follow this book for some reason, maybe lack of interest?
Regardless, the art in this book was very, colorful but I felt the there was an overabundance of colors rather than actual linework which made some, well, most of the action confusing to look at. There was just too much explosion and not enough of the characters or items in the scene. All in all, Doomsday was a slightly confusing book with an incredibly disappointing plot. If you’re a fan of any recognizable version of Doomsday, this book may be a disappointment to you due to the fact that the character is barely in it and it is a mechanic used to further the character of Zod and Lara and give more of an insight to Krypton before its big, tragic doom. I wish I could say I liked this book because I was highly looking forward to it but was unfortunately let down.
Action Comics 23.4 – Metallo
Oh god, where do I begin? This issue, also, was disappointing. It was also, somewhat pointless and one of those Villain’s Month issues that just seemed to be there just to sell the books, unfortunately. I mean, Villain’s Month is a fabulous idea and has been highly successful, but the bad one-shots, such as Metallo, really make me question if DC Editorial actually had stories pitched to them or just made up some random teams to tell a tale about the character. Honestly, though, even Smallville’s version of John Corben was better than this. I also hate the new bulking monster design, and I feel that the New 52 version of Metallo just straight-up sucks.
The story told by Sholly Fisch isn’t confusing or convoluted; it’s just meaningless and bad, in my opinion. It doesn’t really further the character of John Corben and we barely get an insight into his life pre-“Metal-Zero” (which is the ridiculously stupid codename given to John Corben after his operation, and people jokingly say that his name is “Metallo”). Basically, the reasoning that he has a metal heart is because Kryptonite is more powerful and gives him a kick-start of energy, sort-of like a defibrillator. Anyway, the story is kind-of straight forward from thereon out, basically they send Metallo into active duty and since he’s super high-tech now, he destroys things without taking into account civilians and such. There’s also a scene where he walks away from the blast which seemed like a rip-off of 2008’s Iron Man. Eventually, Sam Lane feels that “Metal-Zero” has actually gone rogue and attempts to kill him by blowing up a cargo plane he was in over water. Metallo then sinks to the bottom of the ocean and since his suit can protect him from the pressure, he just spends months walking back to shore. Uh, what? So, unless his head was 100% artificial as well, wouldn’t that have exploded or decayed or something after being submerged for so long? Regardless, “Metal-Zero” returns to kill Sam Lane but instead finds a stronger, new version of the program he went through who Sam Lane calls “Metal-2.0” (because Corben was Metal-Zero, but shouldn’t this new version be Metal-One?).
Anyways, the battle ends incredibly predictably. This isn’t near the worst comic I’ve read, but it definitely isn’t near the best. I would say to try to avoid it unless you’re a collector. This week’s Villain’s Month books aren’t look so good so far, how about the next few?
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