Review: Crime Syndicate #4
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Andy Schmidt
Artists: Kieran McKeown, Bryan Hitch, and Dexter Vines
Colors: Steve Oliff and Alex Sinclair
Letters: Rob Leigh
Reviewer: Tony Farina
The world has been saved by the…Crime Syndicate?! With the Starro invaders vanquished, what’s next for Earth-3’s most notorious saviors? Can loose cannons Emerald Knight, Quick, and Atomica keep their cool? Will Ultraman accept Superwoman and Owlman’s tantalizing offer? And what is Alexander Luthor plotting as all these metahuman menaces run amok? Here’s the REAL question of the month: Which heroes will join the LEGION OF JUSTICE? In this issue’s backup story, witness the origin of the Emerald Knight, illustrated by superstar artist Bryan Hitch!
Crime Syndicate #4 features a totally different version of my second favorite ring slinger (sorry John, Jessica Cruz just beats you out). What works here is that in a world where heroes are baddies and up is down, John Stewart is still sort of a hero. Yes, he is flawed and the back up story goes deep into why this version of John is who he is, but he is still a good guy because no matter what, you don’t become a Green Lantern by being a total a-hole (except for Guy).
The art is once again the best part of this series. I simply love it. New takes on old favorites must be a lot of fun for the artists, but it is a ton of fun for the readers. There is a visual feast with each new look at these characters we know so well done in a way that makes them different. The action set pieces are spectacular. I really hope DC makes an animated version of this. They can cut some of the junk and just make it amazing.
This series once again thinks it is more clever than it is. The little asides don’t work for me. It keeps drifting into “been there, done that” story telling. There is so much story to be told here, but it is being confined to the a cut and paste template of storytelling that I am sad. Baddies who go good or goodies who go bad allows for a limitless kind of storytelling, but this just isn’t doing it. Also, that icky look in Clark’s eyes when Donna propositions him is really, really gross.
Crime Syndicate #4’s best feature is the back up story. Sure, the back up story informs the main tale, and that is good, but I just think the main story is lacking. There was so much potential early on and I wanted this to be five stars all the way, but it just doesn’t land. I am curious to see how they try to wrap this up in two more issues so there is something to look forward to.