[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Bryan Hill
Artists: N. Steven Harris, Ross Campbell
Michael Cray’s life gets exponentially more confusing for him as he finds himself in the middle of a plan to bring the Old Gods back to Earth. Is he working for Constantine, Diana Prince or himself? All of this while his boss hunts him down suspecting he’s gone rogue. And if there needed to be any other drama added to this, there’s still the parasite living within him that wants to take over and has set it’s sights on Cray’s love of his father.
The story of this series continues to grow each issue. The Constantine/ Wonder Woman arc is proving to be the longest in the series so far and could take it to the end. At this stage the goofy fun of Cray vs popular DC hero is a far cry from the world ending thriller the story has evolved into. There are moments in this issue that are more reminiscent of a Bourne movie than a WildStorm comic but it’s proving to be engaging. Bryan Hill took a simple action story and has morphed into a truly compelling story about a damaged man caught up violent world.
Michael Cray the series is now firmly ahead of its parent title The Wild Storm. Where that series flounders in plot progression and pacing Michael Cray excels. Hill knows exactly when everything should happen to maximise reader interest. This issue has plenty of examples with one spectacular action sequence taking place at just the right time to push readers on between to dialogue heavy scenes.
As with the last few issues, Ross Campbell’s colouring does wonders for the series. Some pages of this book are even beautiful. His background work does come across better than his foreground stuff, in particular the noticeable difference between the colours of a character and the room they’re in. In one particular scene the cityscape seen through a window looks wonderful while Wonder Woman herself is a little muted.
Bryan Hill reminds readers of the action they expect from The Wild Storm. This issue’s standout page is a 9 panel action sequence that perfectly encapsulates Michael Cray and his frenetic life. The rest of the issue isn’t as action heavy but there’s a distinct tonal shift happening as the story evolves from mindless action to something a little smarter.
As is always the case N. Steven Harris’s art is inconsistent at best. This issue has more awkward faces than usual with a number of Michael Cray scenes having him look deformed. In on instance he rides in a car and looks like another person altogether when his car collides with another. Constantine has a splash page also and looks more reptile than human.
The plot itself is verging on confusing as Bryan Hill brings together characters from across the series. It’s not quite on the level of Ellis’s Wild Storm but the more plot lines the series has the harder it is to follow.
Yet again Bryan Hill over delivers with a fantastic issue. Patchy artwork by N. Steven Harris is cleaned up by Ross Campbell’s colours making for an entertaining story that further develops the series.