Review: Year of the Villain #1
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Cover: Greg Capullo
Reviewed by: Seth Singleton
The delay of Doomsday Clock opens space for a window into Lex Luthor’s mind commitment to a plan that requires his death to set it in motion. Brainiac confirmed the calculations. Leviathan, Perpetua, and the Batman Who Laughs take their positions. Across space, the Justice League Boardroom discussion reveals the hints of Luthor’s plans and the call is made to bring together every hero for a coming war. The Year of the Villain is here.
The universe is still recovering from the Source Wall breaking. Now Leviathan is rising.
Meanwhile, Perpetua, and the Legion of Doom’s commitment to reshaping existence. A book like YOV — is the acronym too soon? — provides an update on the current status of the threats that are known. And it lists the players involved.
And the first steps down a path of discovery, one that infers not only to a larger threat at work but also the forces moving the pieces across the chessboard.
It all begins with the opening sequence at the White House. And when Amanda Waller storms into the Oval Office to confront the president and finds Lex, Cheetah, Sinestro, Gorilla Grodd, and Brainiac waiting for her.
In a moment, Brainiac’s swift and sudden extraction of her memories is efficient and calculated.
There is a beautiful spread on pages 20-21. It’s the heroes that Batman envisions. He says that it is time to call everyone in to respond to Perpetua’s newest move. Tension is high. The building where Batgirl and Oliver are taking down Merlyn explodes. Babs awakens bound to a chair. A stranger in the shadows makes an offer. The chance to start over and change the world in a way she never could as Babs, Oracle or Barbara Gordon leverages emotion in a play for her loyalty.
I love efficient and simple dialogue. Damian has a “detective’s theory that Jason Todd is behind Leviathan and he wants Batman’s help to prove it wrong. It is economy at its best. Jason’s history is documented and it only takes the right words to place him under suspicion.
I don’t buy the sudden death of Lex Luthor. It’s a building explosion that happens seconds after Captain Atom says he will kill Luthor. But Lex fakes his death once a year and twice on holidays. I don’t think anyone actually believes he is dead. Similarly, I question any plot that tries to suggest otherwise.
Lex is not dead. There I said it.
In conclusion when you have trouble connecting the dots, a user guide helps. And Year of the Villain sets up the large and small plot lines. So, if you like a little mystery to your multi-book-end-of-everything event put this one in a bag and board until the dust has settled, or leave it on the shelf for the reader who needs it.