Monday, July 11, 2005

VILLAINS UNITED #3

Memo to Catman and Deadshot: get a room.

This issue was all about fun with torture and the results thereof. We found out why most of the Six are working for Mockingbird (Parademon slept through the group confession and Scandal was otherwise occupied) and got a lot of theories about the psychology of witnessing torture. And Catman got everyone out of trouble by knowing entirely too much for a third-rate criminal turned Tarzan.

I said this for the first issue: the blackmail material is remarkably pedestrian. 'Loved ones in peril' is a tried and true method, but it's boring. Especially when dealing with criminals who have a history of murder because all that tactic does is humanize and soften characters who are fundamentally selfish and hard. Cheshire and Deadshot aren't reluctant criminals; they are reluctant here because they're working for someone else instead of themselves and they are working blind. The whole 'it's up to us to save the world from the Society' talk sounded plain odd for the same reason.

The more Black Adam has to do, the less I like him. He's as tough as a stale marshmallow, willing to make the hard choice but unable to keep from angsting about it. I much prefer Hawkman's type of 'damn the consequences, full speed ahead' warrior ethos. Between this book and JSA, Teth-Adam was close to becoming an insufferable weenie and to top it off, he's so gullible to boot. Just threaten his lands and he acts in the most predictable fashion -- reacts, nowadays, instead of acts. And everyone else notices it, too; the minute he starts getting fractious, Lex whips out the bomb and says there was another near Kahndaq. He is the odd man out in the Society, the bad boy who really isn't, and I wish the DC writers would make up their minds and decide whether he is fish or fowl, honorable warrior or villain, instead of just a ridiculously powered milquetoast.

Overall... meh. Nothing exciting is happening, no characters are turning out charismatic enough to get interested in, and I'm just following along because it's easier than trying to read the official Crisis Intervention updates.

7 Comments:

Anonymous Prodigal said...

My theory is that Luthor is Mockingbird, and he engineered things so that he could use the Six as a way of keeping his associates in check, as well as for culling the herd of those he deems expendible.

Mon Jul 11, 04:57:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, Catman left being a poison expert to Cheshire, so it wasn't really him who got them out of trouble, but it may explain the Catman/Deadshot fight for 5.

Mon Jul 11, 10:59:00 PM EDT  
Blogger The Comics Shrew said...

I wouldn't be surprised at all at one of the Society being behind the Six. I also wouldn't be surprised if it was Batman or the Martian Manhunter or someone else of that ilk.

Tue Jul 12, 03:35:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Dan Coyle said...

I think it's Cheshire who's Mockingbird, because a) It jibes w/how Simone wrote her in Birds of Prey and b) I find it very hard to believe that she'd let her daughter be the hostage AGAIN.

Mon Jul 18, 10:30:00 AM EDT  
Blogger The Comics Shrew said...

Cheshire-as-Mockingbird would be a relief because it would mean that Simone wasn't using the tired Child in Peril storyline again.

Mon Jul 18, 11:38:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Prodigal said...

You make an excellent point, Shrew.

Wed Jul 20, 01:46:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Scipio said...

"Ridiculously powered milquetoast"?

I think that's a brilliant characterization of Black Adam!

Fact is he's naive and somewhat sentimental. Always has been; read his first story!

He's a great deal like Captain Marvel, and correspondingly less effective....

Wed Jul 20, 05:53:00 AM EDT  

Post a Comment

<< Home