“Justice League of America’s Vibe” #7 sets aside all of the “Trinity War” zaniness and opens the doors for Sterling Gates and Andres Guinaldo investigate Cisco Ramon’s life. The creative team dips into the past, and then adds more to the present while stretching out a future for the kid from Detroit with the powers that go “Vbabababababa.”
Following a half-baked prison break within A.R.G.U.S.’s Circus facility, commotion swirls around Vibe, Gypsy and the extra-dimensional intruder, Rupture. Come to return Gypsy to her homeworld, Rupture quickly finds a bond with Vibe, but that doesn’t keep the two characters from clashing throughout the issue. The battle (and background chaos) provides Gates with an unorthodox platform upon which he nurtures the characters’ development. This illustrates the wild connections these characters are making across the landscape of the Circus and beyond. Gates projects emotion from Vibe by having Paco reach out to Rupture to not only save Gypsy, but Rupture as well.
Guinaldo shows no signs whatsoever of having to work on settling in to this adventure. His art is skillfully detailed, but his character work and perspective could use a bit more polish. Guinaldo picks up the tribute Gates continues to pay to the DC Universe that was, as he offers up an Easter egg buffet of recognizable beings. That said, there does appear to be some scale issues within Guinaldo’s work (just how big are Parademons exactly?). With the more human characters on-panel, Guinaldo does a nice job with the fight sequences, fitting the entirety of the combatants on the page to illuminate the extent of the backdrop their battle occurs within. Surprisingly, Brad Anderson’s colors are airy, striking me as somewhat non-committal. A wide array of glowing, energy-based effects is applied, but the effects and the energy seems to be the focus in the color treatment, subjugating the combatants in several scenes.
With the breakout, Gates has done a nice job setting this book up for a bright future, I just hope he’s able to follow up as I’d like to see where we go now that Scissormen, Phantasm, Weaponers of Qward and Darkseid’s daughter are all on the loose. Grounding those oddities in a real-world setting like the Motor City isn’t an easy task, but Gates does include a nice nod to the Detroit area by sending Vibe’s injured brother, Dante, to Henry Ford Hospital. Hopefully Dante gets the attention he needs and this comic starts to find the attention it needs as the story slides over from straight-ahead superhero action to a wonderfully awkward mixture of science fiction, fantasy and adventure.