I’m not so sure the full cover image would have been “WTF” worthy, but it does provide an accurate depiction of the matchup contained in “Justice League of America’s Vibe” #3. Sterling Gates climbs into the writer’s chair with this issue, joining Pete Woods and Fabiano Neves to deliver the first ever meeting between Vibe and Kid Flash.
Readers of “Justice League of America” know that the members of that team were chosen as potential countermeasures to face down the Justice League should the world’s mightiest heroes ever need taking down. To that end, this issue sets Vibe on a field test against Kid Flash. Essentially, this should be a dry run to gauge the level of power Vibe possesses and the potential effectiveness he would bring against the Justice League’s Flash. The meeting between the kid speedster and the vibrational wunderkind provides Gates with an action-oriented plot around which he can develop his take for the character and find his voice for Vibe while also running down the checklist of subplots and subordinate characters. Gates does an admirable job picking up what Geoff Johns and Andrew Kreisberg have done to this point.
Vibe continues to work with A.R.G.U.S. and tries to learn a bit more about his handler, Dale Gunn. Unfortunately, the seasoned vet isn’t very forthcoming with details and save for one remark, much of what we learn from Gunn is in conversations that character has with Amanda Waller. Most of those conversations are about Vibe, which is an interesting variation on the notion of narrating through caption boxes. It fills the space, but doesn’t endear the reader to any of the characters much.
The issue opens strong, but overall the art is nowhere near what I’ve come to expect from Woods. Thee are flashes of brilliance, but some of the depth in panels and detail on characters is murky throughout “Justice League of America’s Vibe” #3. Fabiano Neves steps in to assist and does a decent job with his pages, but I’d rather read a full issue by one artist, especially this early in a series. As mentioned, Woods does deliver some nice bits, including the final image of this issue depicting a character awash in Kirby crackle.
“Justice League of America’s Vibe” #3 is a showcase of super-powered characters fighting simply because two of them are in the same place at the same time. There are glimpses of Kid Flash’s story and a little more characterization given to Vibe, but the issue as a whole falls considerably short. There are plenty of fragments of this title for readers to latch on to, but it hasn’t all started to gel together yet. With this issue complete, Gates should be settled in and I’m hopeful this issue shook out any adjustments the creative team needed to identify to move forward so the titular character can live to see the promising future Amanda Waller believes awaits him.