[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Carmine Di Giandomenico
Colors: Ivan Plascencia
Letters: Deron Bennett
Explore more about the man of mystery known as Azrael! Meanwhile, worshipers of Cyborg want to use a MotherBox of their own to turn themselves into cyborgs, and Darkseid’s plans are revealed at long last!
Ivan Plascencia’s coloring is probably the best thing about this book, and it shows why colorists need to be valued and cherished more within the comic book community. Carmine Di Giandomenico contributes some nice art to the story, but I do think he is capable of much better work. The story was well drawn with what Di Giandomenico was given, but there is a lot of disappointment to sift through.
This 5th issue, along with the other four issues, is a haze. To be quite frank, there is very little point or purpose to anything in this run or any of the characters. It feels like Joshua Williamson gave up before it even began. When the run was first announced, people were skeptical, but intrigued, baffled, and fairly interested. What a strange cast of characters to combine into a new team book. People wondered if they had what it takes to make a great team, and with Williamson, they did not. This final issue attempts to explain how Azrael got to where he is, and where he might be going on his personal journey. Neither the brief narration of his past nor his worshipers that he’ll meet in the future, the Order of Azrael, depict this journey with any emotion or feeling. The majority of the story is meaningless exposition that do little to interest the reader and all run together. It is quite easy to read through the entire book carefully and have not remembered a large majority of what one had just read.
There is nothing memorable in this story expect for The Other Box, a ridiculously named piece of Apokoliptan technology even more chaotic and disruptive than a Mother Box. There is nothing in this issue that evoked one ounce of investment or emotion in what I just read. Jessica Cruz is barely in this issue, Starfire is in a state of static worrying or anger, Cyborg’s “crisis” brings him back to a reductive point of self-loathing the that represents a major weakness in many portrayals of the character, and the rest of the characters are extremely one-dimensional. Additionally, the storytelling as a whole seems very rushed and clunky, with odd paneling choices and an expositional splash page that just seems sloppy. I’d love to know what Williamson was thinking during this arc, because I don’t feel any passion coming from the pages. I apologize for the harsh words, but it is the truth.
This was a forgettable arc that calls into question this books entire existence. I sincerely hope Dan Abnett will prove why it has one.