DC Universe Presents: James Robinson, Bernard Chang, Steve Wands, Ryan Sook
Well now, here’s something interesting. I love Vandal Savage in the Demon Knights book, and I think it’s awesome that we get to see him highlighted in a solo (kind of) series that shows him off in our current time. Medieval Savage is incredibly fun to read, yes, but how would that same person…immortal and now alive for several centuries more…behave now?
Well apparently he kills people. Short answer, right there.
He’s in prison, and his daughter (I wonder how many children he’s had over the years) is an FBI agent obsessed with catching serial killers. I actually just watched “Taking Lives” with Angelina Jolie just before reading this issue, so I feel like I can understand Kassidy Sage here a little bit, because that’s how Jolie’s character was. I can understand what drives her…or at least what we’re lead to believe drives her. Surely the apple doesn’t fall THAT far from the tree..?
The art here is pretty spectacular. I like Chang. He did the first series of DC Universe Presents, Deadman. While that whole series had some hit-or-miss art moments, here it looks like that refined stuff we saw in #4, which I liked so much. The best part of the art in this issue, I think, is how Vandal’s dressed in a 70s prisoner uniform. Now, the series here could take place in the 70s - which would detract from the decision on Vandal’s look - but I doubt it, because of the tech we see used in the issue, such as flat-screen computer monitors. If I am right in assuming present-day, then his outfit is just outrageously awesome.
The relationship, the dialog, between Vandal and Kass is outstanding. Sure, Vandal does ramble a bit, but I think he’d have become prone to it - whereas he’s somewhat of a light thinker in Demon Knights - especially after all the reading I’m sure he’s done. There’s definitely the Hannibal/Clarice motif going here, but it’s so much more personal with the father/daughter situation. Since the issue IS mostly dialog, it’s gotta be strong.
Then the action scene comes. And here’s the genius of it…there’s very LITTLE dialog! There aren’t series of word bubbles clogging up the page, forcing us to swallow that, somehow, while conducting acrobatic moves, dodging and throwing blows, these characters are exchanging their opinions on the political status of a random third-world country! My GOODNESS is that refreshing!
You’ve got your one-liners. Short, simple. Done. Out.
This issue also touches upon Vandal’s immortality, and how he freely admits to it. Sure, his daughter doesn’t believe him…and that’s awesome. I love that we see some reality to this, some skepticism. However, it’s kind of ruined by the fact that Kass says she thinks the killer has superpowers…and then fights someone with superpowers. It’s like, so you believe in superpowers and all that, but your dad couldn’t possibly be immortal?
DC Universe Presents #9, the verdict: THANK GOD THE CHALLENGERS ARE GONE!! Oh holy crap that was awful. This was pretty damn cool, though. I love a more personal approach to this series. I love that we’re reintroducing Vandal’s daughter into the DCnU (wasn’t she Scandal Savage in the previous Suicide Squad preboot run?). And the art is magnificent. Great coloring effects, too. I love Vandal’s look, the writing is tight, with good dialog, and I’m pumped to see where this goes.
(Photo Source: iFanBoy)