[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Dan Abnett
Artist: Patch Zircher
Colors: Mike Spicer
Letters: Tom Napolitano
Welcome to Sansaro, Home of Action Land. After a wild plane ride, Blake and Ben are in heaven among the sights, rides, and wonders of the ultimate amusement park dedicated to the excitement of Mr. Supers. More on that later. Honor Guest is walking straight down “Hell-iday Road” and trying to figure out if she if can save her family without scarring or disappointing them. I don’t think she could tell you which would be worse.
Mr. Supers is awesome. The smile, the reversed Superman colors, the point, and the spit curl. It’s clear that Blake is having as much if not more fun than little Ben and the fun is the cheesy world of Action Land, and its star Mr. Supers. I love that it is some unlicensed ripoff of Superman who starts to crumble when Ben asks the pointed questions
Nothing like a good old-fashioned data dump to drive the plot into murkier waters. While the boys are playing on the Krypton Rocket-Coaster, Silencer puts the squeeze on an old informant named Iverson. By holding back and not revealing her mission, Honor gets Iverson to share that Leviathan’s civil war is worse than originally thought. The loss of Talia Al Ghul’s leadership has put the remaining underbosses in a power struggle that is disintegrating Leviathan. Since each underboss is in charge of a separate division, this means that the weapons, robotics, viral, and body modifications are all fighting for control. Am I the only one thinking about how messy this will get?
This all leads to a nice scene with Quietus at a division field office performing an unexpected inspection. According to Iverson, Quietus and Gunn are the two main contenders jockeying to replace Talia. So, it’s no surprise when the field officers turn on Quietus, and he accuses them of taking a payoff from Gunn. The twist is the complete failure of the mission, and the revelation by Samuel that he has no memory of the attack or why he is being accused as a traitor. Then who did?
There is a great development when Silencer meets up with Blake and Ben at Action Land. Blake suggests eating at the Diner of Solitude, but Ben says he doesn’t like diners because people take out guns and start shooting. While Silencer is worrying about whether she has mentally scarred her only boy for life, Blake is realizing that she doesn’t seem to want to spend any time with them.
Speaking of realizations, when Silencer uses the intel from Iverson to cross into Khadym she runs into Quietus. While they are fighting, he reveals that Gunn is in Sansaro also and that they all want to make sure Talia’s attempt at revival fails. Silencer tries to argue that it is because they are all smart, but Quietus believes that the coincidence has more to do with magic than timing. Which leads to the revelation that Lady Wishbone is pulling the strings while claiming that she is the only one who is still loyal to Talia. But, what makes it for me, is that Wishbone is holding the figures of Silencer and Quietus like they are action figures. Aww, she’s just a big kid mad that the underbosses don’t respect her division. Which is why she gives them a big jolt of magic. The result?
Quietus and Silencer switch bodies. The mask comes off and Quietus finds the park pass for Action Land. He thinks he’s found the way to uncover Honor’s secret identity. How will she stop him?
I know Blake is excited, but his feeling that Honor is not spending time with the family is so innocent it is almost unbelievable. I know he must feel lucky just to be with the woman he loves, but some evidence that explains why he can ignore his doubts will strengthen.
I think Dan Abnett is raising the stakes with precision and balanced execution. Is it perfect? No. But, the beauty is in the imperfection. I feel like this breakneck pace is only going to quicken. The reader is in for a wild, bumpy, and twisty ride. I plan on chuckling at every turn.