Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Four Color Fiends: A couple of dozen heroes

The Twelve #4 – Things seem to be getting darker for the returned heroes as they try to find a place for themselves in the current era. We know that the Black Widow has been responsible for the gruesome murder of a financier and the Laughing Mask may be hiding something. LM is requested to turn over his guns, which he used to stop a robbery, but there are hints that they may be clues to something else. We learn the ‘origin’ of Rockman, but are left wondering if it is true or not. I’m sure we’ll learn one way or the other by the time the series wraps up. Dynamic Man seems to believe that he is the only one of the group being realistic about what has happened, but you have to wonder if a comment by journalist Richard Jones (The Masked Reporter) may have hit a nerve. We know from a flash-forward that at least one of the Twelve will meet a tragic end, but there are still lots of mysteries left. Folks on line are wondering if any of the well-known Marvel characters will make an appearance, but while I would not be shocked, I rather doubt we’ll see Spidey or some body like that showing up.

Project Superpowers #0 & 2 – Nuclear Comics had a copy of the first issue (#0) available, so I picked it up, hoping it might make some things clear. As much as I’m enjoying the series so far, I do hate it when you have a ‘first’ issue that isn’t actually the beginning of the story. If you do, you should at least be fair and do some type of recap in the first regular issue for new readers.

We learn in #0 that the Fighting Yank is responsible for the disappearance of almost every other costumed hero after the end of WWII. The American government (or what we assume at this point is a representative of the government) tells FY that they have discovered the receptacle (here an ancient urn, in this case, rather than the legendary box) that Pandora opened to release all the evils. FY is told that only by imprisoning his fellow crime-fighters in the urn can he hope to capture and contain the evils once again. While he believed that he was doing this to save the world from evil, it becomes apparent that things didn’t work out the way he hoped. The Yank now has to face (pardon the expression) not only some angry former friends, but also a very, nasty Dynamic Man & family who have created a world they do not care to lose.

It is kind of cool seeing so many of these forgotten heroes and I’m curious to see what is in store.

While some of the heroes retain their better-known names, a few had to appear under different ones. The original Dare-devil is now simply The Devil, while an obvious Dan Garret looking Blue Beetle is called The Scarab. I’m rather curious why Ross & Co. made his WWII costume such a recognizable one knowing they couldn’t use him under that name. I can’t wait to see The Owl and a few others in action. The character Samson, according to Wikipedia, is not the Biblical strongman, but rather a descendant. I’m sure there is a lot of back-story to explain his current whereabouts and condition.

I don’t know how either of these series is going to end, but I recommend them both.
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