[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Steve Orlando
Artist: Travel Foreman
Letterer: Travis Lanham
A small group of Electric Warriors realizes that all is not what it seems when it comes to the Gil’Dishpan and the mission they’ve been chosen for and decide to take action. War Cry, Deep Dweller, Serene, Dominator, and Inceptor, all do what they can to learn more about the Gil’Dishpan while trying to survive in their own contests. They must be careful, however, because someone may be onto them…
Can you carry the weight of an entire species and still remain an individual? That is a large draw towards reading this series, and a question that becomes easy to ponder while reading Electric Warriors #4. Orlando depicts a wide variety of alien races that have each had their renaissances and dark ages throughout the history of the DC universe, but each time Orlando shows one of the fallen Electric Warriors, it’s deflating to think about a species and a culture that will be forced to endure possibly centuries of hardship or go extinct because of one member’s defeat. It is very easy to get lost in the beauty of this book and forget the magnitude of every challenge, but just like the challenges themselves, the beautiful art is but a thin veil covering the real struggle portrayed underneath.
That being said, the art truly is beautiful, particularly the coloring. I really feels like whomever is coloring from Hi-fi is allowed to do so unrestrained and experimentally and the result is bold and ground-breaking compared to what we normally see at DC. Each character is drawn, colored, or lettered in a way that makes them shine as individuals even in a story as big as Electric Warriors. I particularly love how Deep Dweller’s world balloons allow a relatively stoic character to still radiate emotion, and how Travis Lanham does a great job displaying profound sincerity when lettering Inceptor’s digital memory. They are all bright lights in a time of darkness thanks to this fantastic art team.
Even as they work together as a team, Orlando does a great job allowing the Electric Warriors to shine as individuals by doing something few have done before: he humanizes the Dominators. Using a member of an alien race where everyone is the same to convey the importance of individuality is brilliant. The Dominators have largely fallen from the mighty race they once were, and that allows for a lot of growth. A member of a faceless species chooses a name and chooses himself in a beautiful moment. The bond shared between the warriors is almost familial, and it is touching seeing champions of divided races come together as a family. That being said, this is also a story of survival, and betrayal is not unlikely. There is always the question of who one can trust, and it should keep readers looking forward to the next issue.
While the story is great, it’s flow is rather choppy. Characters and scenes often get interrupted in ways that would take most readers out of the story. There is sometimes a lack of flow between panels that are right next to each other, and certain conversations seem to end without any sort of warning or conclusion. For a story that serves as the connective tissue between many elements of the DC universe, I wish the connective tissue within itself was done a little better.
Electric Warriors #4 does a beautiful job emphasizing the importance of individuality and finding a family at a time when entire races live and die from the consequences of a single representative.