A lot of internet grumbling has centered around this title and the presentation of the characters within it. Personally, I found the first issue — as a comic book package — to be quite entertaining and worthwhile. I was virtually alone. Subsequent issues have strayed into cliche and cornball, but Robinson is a competent enough writer to find ways to make up for — or completely cover — his missteps. That said, there are some out of character moments lingering in this issue, but Robinson covers those as character development (in the case of Ray Palmer) or just out of place, such as Supergirl’s crushing on Freddy and everyone on the “team” being able to read it. Beyond that, this issue establishes the fact that sinister things are happening — or about to happen — in the DC Universe.
Jay Garrick and the Shade are the high point of this issue, and to many certain to be the high point of the series to this point. I found Jay’s story to be somewhat divergent from the actual thrust of the series so far, and am more compelled to read more of Jay Garrick and the Shade than I am of Ray Palmer’s nasal cavity explorations.
Cascioli’s art continues to impress me, but the final page, with a large number of heroes left me perplexed, as it appears Ronnie Raymond is back in the Firestorm matrix. Cascioli’s art delivers characters heavy with angst, but few other emotions, which works in this story where angst is the main driver. I like how he renders the Shade and look forward to more next issue.
As with the previous issues, this issue has an origin story and a behind-the-scenes explanation regarding characters selected. The two-page Mikaal Tomas origin, written by Len Wein, drawn by Sergio Carrera, colored by Pete Pantazis, with Sal Cipriano on letters is a nice tribute to the character, but doesn’t seem to have much room to focus on the character’s existence between being discovered by Jack Knight and fighting alongside Congorilla.
This issue didn’t feel like much of a story to me, as most of the interesting part of this book came from Jay Garrick’s quest and the interactions there. We’re over the hump for the series, with only three issues remaining and I’ll be interested to see if the Prometheus storyline gets any significant resolution. I am not interested in seeing Ray Palmer threaten anyone else with sinus headaches, however, and hope Robinson finds a slightly different tone for the Atom.