We continue the month of shattered youths and broken homes aka Villains Month, in this issue we get to learn more about the Count of Vertigo…Count Vertigo.
There was never much to know about the old Count. He had a hereditary inner ear problem and a little machine in his head that helped him deal with his balance problems, learning he could screw around with the device he found that the device could be used as a weapon to effect other peoples balance and seriously screw with the perspective causing them to lose all sense of what was up, down, and all around. He was never a Two-Face or a Brainiac but as a villain for the Emerald Archer he had a few good stories, I’m telling you this mostly to remind readers who are new to Green Arrow that this new Count is fairly different than the Count of old and that Lemire has made a number of changes to the character and the back story.
Jeff Lemire taking the super villain in a new direction is a bit of fresh air, while the old Count Vertigo was charming in his simplicity and silliness, you can always appreciate one of the greats like Jeff Lemire attempting to give the old character a new look and personality in The New 52.
Andrea Sorrentino continues to be one of the best parts of Jeff Lemire’s New 52 Green Arrow run, the amount of detail and beauty he gets into almost every one of his panels is at times breathtaking, we all look forward to seeing more from Andrea in the future.
Lemire also continues to write very tight dialogue and exposition. When people talk you always feel the weight behind it and what they’re saying isn’t just words to fill a balloon, it’s clean, concise, and doesn’t waste your time.
Lemire also gives Count Vertigo’s apparatus from which his powers work an overhaul as well. Instead of being…some kind of device in his head that works…somehow, it’s now a more advanced looking device that seems to attach itself to the top of his spine and a little disc that goes on his forehead which gives him his powers…somehow.
While Lemire attempts to give new life to the Count the story itself falls fairly flat on its face. While it does have some nice window dressings the backstory of Count Vertigo is nothing we haven’t already heard when a Super-Villain with weird powers is involved. Feeble child in a rough home, with a terrible single parent, who eventually sells him to scientists who want to turn children into weapons.
The biggest problem here is the same problem a number of other Villain Month titles have which is lack of time. With one issue if you have a lot to say and you try to cram it all in there it’ll likely fall flat like this issue has. Everything feels rushed and doesn’t leave much of an impact or lead us to know more about the Count on a personal level or feel for what happened to him. As an example, the transformation of Warren from a soft kind child to a murdering psychopath takes about a page and a half.
There are a few good moments that take place throughout the issue but it’s hard to really care about The Count or what he’s going through when we’re never really given a chance to see what he was like before he became “Count Vertigo”.
Count Vertigo will likely end up being one of the weaker issues to come out this month and won’t be a necessary issue for anyone looking to get into the current run of Green Arrow. There’s nothing offensively bad with this issue, there’s just not a lot that it brings to the table and it ends up feeling a bit hollow. The art is really nice to look at but as the old saying goes, “What’s a good plate with nothing on it?” Or “What’s a good Count with nothing to count on.”