[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Writer: Marc Andreyko
Artists: Aaron Lopresti and Brad Anderson
Inkers: Livesay and Brad Anderson
The majority of this issue is told on Thanagar: then, as opposed to Rann: now. Why? Well, on Rann: now, Katar is bleeding out and Adam Strange throws up a lot. That can only go on for so long. Also, we finally learn what Adam Strange said to Hawkman to get him to come. Turns out, not much. He just had to show him a hologram of Despero. That leads to a cutaway showing how Despero, on his home planet of Kalador, kills a bunch of folks and raises an army. The final part of the story focuses on Adam’s wife, Alanna, and how she is pretty upset with the Thanagarians and her husband.
There is a lot of action and a lot of humor. The action is all courtesy of the art team. This is a book about war and thus, there needs to be a lot of violence, fighting, bloodshed and pain. It is not something I would want to spend a month working on, but thankfully, Aaron Lopresti and Brad Anderson had no such qualms. There is something about their depiction of Kalador that is chilling. Despero is an interesting character anyway, but they really find a way to get each shadow as menacing as possible. They even found a way to get all three eyes to look evil. Yes, a third, glowing yellow eye is already strange, but they make it seem totally unsettling.
There are some great aerial battles as well. I am no artist, so I am not sure how to keep perspective at all, but it seems even more difficult when portraying the heroes several stories up, dodging flying cars, laser blasts and angry Thanagarian police officers. Lopresti handles this work alone and he does job so well that if anyone has a fear of heights, falling or severe motion, he or she could get it from these panels.
The humor falls squarely on Adam Strange’s shoulders. Marc Andreyko seems to be having fun. Why not? There is so much going on, that a few jokes here and there help keep the reader grounded. At this point, there is no one to like except for Strange, and even his actions are suspect. It is much easier to get on someone’s side when he makes you laugh.
There is too much going on and Marc Andreyko took a break from his non-sequential story telling to get this issue where it needed to be. Sure, it starts on Rann: now, but once we go back to Thanagar: then, we stay in the “then.” That in and of itself is not a problem, but we jump to Rann: then and Kalador: then and Earth: then. I guess I was expecting less of a reveal in issue three and more of a build up for issue six. My concern here is that we are going to catch up with Adam and Katar in the next issue and we will just have two or three issues of smashing, shooting and dying without any plot. I hope I am wrong.
I still dig the Hamlet and Horatio vibe I am getting from this book. There is still a chance for a final battle where everyone dies except Horatio. I am rooting for his “Goodnight sweet prince” moment.