Villains United #1-2
Written by Gail Simone
Penciled by Dale Eaglesham
Inked by Wade von Grawbadger
Colors by Sno-Cone
Letters by Jared K. Fletcher (#1) and Pat Brosseau (#2)
Villains United #1-2 is the last of the "Infinite Crisis" tie-in series I'll be reviewing here.
Lex Luthor has convinced most of DC's supervillains to band together in a huge criminal organization. There are a few holdouts, though — Catman, Deadshot, Cheshire, Ragdoll, the Parademon, and Scandal. As "the Secret Six" they try to overthrow Luthor's new order — and seize power for themselves!
Like most of the other "Infinite Crisis" tie-ins too much goes unsaid here. For instance, it's not clear from the comic itself why the villains have banded together, or indeed, what they're trying to accomplish by doing so. Fortunately, writer Gail Simone manages to paper over the cracks in the story with some exceptionally strong characterization and character interaction. Her versons of Catman and Deadshot are especially interesting, and she even manages to make Cheshire's steroetypical "Dragon Lady" personality work by turning her into a scenery-chewing bitch.
Unfortunately, after a pleasantly surprising start, the series really seems to kick into overdrive in the second half of the second issue, when our protagonists leap from the frying pan to the fire in the space of, oh, about three pages. It's strange to pull the gun on the Mockingbird question so soon, especially since most of the Six don't seem to care one way or the other. It'll be interesting to see if Simone can reinvigorate my interest in a third issue, though...
This is a pretty striking page. That image of Catman and his pride will stick with you for a while. The lettering is fine, the coloring is first-rate, there isn't too much detail, and some attention has been paid to the panel-to-panel flow. And yet, I hate that the two panels in the lower tier float over the central image. It seems to make the image of Catman and his pride seem less striking. You could probably solve most of those problems by shrinking the lower tier panels — there's really no good reason for them to be so tall.
Atlanta Braves at Pittsburgh Pirates
W: J. Foster (1-0); L: M. Gonzalez (0-2)
This was a disappointing loss, but a great game, a pleasant defensive contest between two evenly-matched teams. Which is amazing, when you consider that by all rights the Braves should have stomped the Pirates a new mudhole. And hey, we won the series, so nyah nyah!
One of the guys sitting behind me managed to get ejected from the game in the bottom of the ninth. Some advice for would-be hooligans — when the security guard around to escort you from the stadium, you probably shouldn't tell him that you'll "see him on the streets" and slap off his sunglasses. It took three guards and a few ushers to do it, but they eventually cuffed the guy and dragged him away.
And, of course, the fracas obsctructed my view of most of the final innning. It's a good thing I wasn't keeping a scorecard.
Also, on the way home from the game, I saw one of the dorkiest sights I've ever seen — people camped out in Theater Square to watch the Gene Kelly Awards ceremony on the TV screen. Wow.