Week 17: I Can See the Light, Just Not the SunChris Batista (Pencils), Ruy Jose (Inks), Jack Jadson (inks), and David Baron (Colors) delivered the art this week, giving us a servicable performance. While spectacular art is too much to expect with the deadline for each issue, the lighting in the space sequence was driving me out of my mind. I simply could not stop thinking about it as I read.
I'm not a Teen Titans fan, so I'm unfamiliar with Starfire, but exactly how do her powers work? I read in a guest apperance once that she seemed to emanate light, and I know her energy blasts are solar based. I've seen some artists draw a glow around her as she flies, and others not bother. But, isn't her skin supposed to be glowing rather than simply "shiny"?
Also, there's a number of sequences where light seems to be coming from above, or in front of her, while her energized hands are too low or too far behind her to be casting that light. The shading seemed more intent on highlighting her feminine body than showing a consistant scene. I know its outer space, but seriously, where is the light source when she's facing Lobo and both of their faces are lit?
Art aside, this was a good week for me to fill in. The space story appealed to me while I'm on my "Cosmic DC" kick, and so much panel-time for Starfire gives me a chance to flex my Feminist Art Critique muscles a little bit.
The Lobo's origin backup, as I'm not particularly interested in the character, didn't catch me. It isn't new information for someone who's read enough DC space stories, or the main plot of this issue. Adam and Kory tell Buddy everything you need to know about Lobo in the actual plot.
Page 1: "Luthor's American Dream Team" would be a suitable name. The green and purple, and their facial expressions make them look as ominous as they're meant to be.
Page 2: Each of Luthor's Rent-A-Hero team gets a panel introducing them, and showing them in action. As I'm willing to bet more than one of these people will appear as guest-villains in upcoming books, its worth going over them once again here.
Erik Storn from Gary Indiana "whose claws seem capable of slicing through anything they touch." His character design, long claws and a shadowy purple facemask with white eyeslits, seems especially sinister.
Eliza Harmon from Manchester, Alabama with superspeed. I doubt that her hometown being the setting of the 90s Impulse comic is a coincidence.
Hannibal Bates of Gotham City, shapeshifter, seems unremarkable so far. The name Hannibal is loaded, though, between the crossing of the Alps and Silence of the Lambs. The last name of Bates is loaded from Psycho.
Gerome McKenna of Los Angeles, super-strength. (Seriously, where is the light coming from in the art? McKenna's biceps are lit from the point of impact where those two Kobra members are being slammed together, up and to the right, but his ear and the back side of his face are lit from a light source to the lower back left that is not illuminating any other part of his body!)
Jacob Colby of Oklahoma city "who can ride the winds." He's shown flying, but this could also be an elemental power. If you notice how the Kobra members behind him are moving (apparently lit by a different light source than he is), this seems quite likely.
Natasha Irons of Metropolis, whose light powers may be the reason for the art weirdness on this page.
Page 3: I'm unsettled by the amount of time Luthor spends commenting on Natasha's appearance. An entire panel. Jacob Colby also mentions her looks, more subtly, early on in the page.
Page 4: Nice to seee Mercy in action again.
Page 6: Lower right panel. I think an excessive amount of artistic effort was spent shading Kory's breasts. Time and thought that could have been spent on more important art details, like light sourcing.
Page 8: They've been in space since Day 7 of Week 16, that's five days, at most, if they left in the morning on Day 7 (Week 16) and this scene occurs in the evening of day 4 (Week 17).
Page 9-10: Grant Morrison's Animal Man Vertigo series is in continuity here. The concept of Existential Isolation Trauma (becoming "Void-Sick") is interesting. I wonder if Green Lanterns are susceptible.
Page 13: Gross.
Page 14: The smoke from Lobo's cigar can rise with no atmosphere.
Page 16: I'm really glad they cut out the dialogue for this sequence.
Page 18: I like Lobo's little hat.
Page 19: The 52 thing again, this time from Red Tornado's mouth. I wonder if any Australian readers are annoyed that "Mate" is shorthand for their accent. I also fully expect that Aboriginal Australian man to have a cell-phone next issue.
And that's all for this issue. Douglas Wolk will be back next week for some more plotcentric commentary.