Or – “Something Is Rotten In The State Of Hokkaido…”


Last issue, the Super Young Team went global and set out to conquer the Western Hemisphere the way they’ve captured the imaginations of Japan.  If only this decision weren’t based on the machinations of a mysterious cabal that wants to cover up strange and unsavory doings back home in the Land of the Rising Sun…

FCD1_1.jpgPreviously, on Final Crisis – Dance:  The Super Young Team has desperately been searching for a way to follow up their big “Saving The Entire Universe” moment during Final Crisis, and team leader Most Excellent Superbat has finally found their way into the big time: global marketing.  Granted, he has come to this conclusion after being sold a bill of goods by a sleazy promoter, but still…  The thought is sound.  It all turns out to be sound and fury signifying only big bucks, though, and Superbat is visited by the Ghost of Ultimon Alpha, greatest of the Giant Monster killers of yore.  Ultimon spurs MosExSuperbat to think of his team as more than media darlings, but overcoming the perceptions of the average Joe in the street may be more difficult.  Even more complicated is the existence of a Japanese group of shadowy men who want to make sure that the Super Young Team don’t follow in the footsteps of Big Science Action, and that the heroic teens stay as far from home as possible…

The world tour contines, and the kids of the SYT find themselves in “Las Vulgar,” the city where everything is for sale, and it probably ain’t all that expensive when you find it.  Taking up residence in a garish hotel, the heroes are given an opportunity to wind down, and a camera crew is present to record their rise to fame.  “There’s a hot tub out on the balcony, y’know.  In case any of you are feeling… AMOROUS,” says th sleazy producer, and Atomic Lantern Boy looks hopefully at the beautiful Shiny Happy Aquazon, who crushes him with a few words of disinterest.  Aquazon is far more interested in some corporate branding, offering herself up to be the guinea pig for whatever product placement/endorsement gigs arise.  Back in Tokyo, Rising Sun is enraged to find the city cordoned off by armed soldiers, and his entry barred.  He very nearly charbroils them all, but a few harsh words from a member of the mysterious cabal sends him away, angrier than ever, decrying the shame of turning away Japan’s heroes.  “Indeed,” replies the young man cryptically,” but the shame is yours…  Yours and all those who wear your colors.”  Well, that’s ominous…

Back in America, Superbat checks his ever-present PDA Smartphone and finds that Las Vulgaris home to an old-school supervillain called Doc Dread, and the team ditches (well, really wallops and ties up) their camera crew and heads out for some action.  Well, MOST of the team, anyway.  Shiny Happy Aquazon meets with the PR people about becoming spokeswoman for a new product called OxyGen, bottled air.  (What?  Is it really any stupider than bottled water?)  “Once you’ve breathed OxyGen, you become part of something much LARGER than yourself,” says the company’s president is truly disturbing zombie fashion.  While her teammates fight giant robots and villainous henchmen, Aquazon ends up at a rave to promote her new sponsor.  Big Atomic Lantern Boy takes out the robot, and the Super Young Team actually find themselves having tea with Doc Dread, discussing how hard it is to make a splash in the metahuman world, and the conversation eventually meanders to how Japan is being screened from electronic surveillance.  Their discussion is cut short by a video feed from Aquazon’s rave, where everyone present finds their minds being controlled by something in the bottles of  OxyGen.  The Super Young Team races to save their distaff member, and the reunited team seeks out the source of the infection: a creature called Brain Drain, in reality some sort of sentient virus.  Thanks to Shy Crazy Lolita Canary’s sonic powers, the creature is stopped, and the day is saved!  Ominously, though, Rising Sun finds himself at the bottom of his ever-present bottle of booze, and decides to eat the worm (even though his drink isn’t Mezcal, where a worm belongs.)  The issue ends with the hero bravely awaiting what the worm has to show him.  (My guess?   High School Musical 4.)

I am a sucker for a team book, especially a team book with unusual characters, so the fact that I liked this issue is no surprise.  Joe Kelly really handles the characters and their neuroses and crushes well, and Andre Coelho’s art is evocative of manga without being a full-blown stylistic knockoff.  The whole issue feels like a prelude to something more, though, and the endings of both the battles come somewhat abruptly, leaving a sense of anticlimax throughout.  Still, the “Twitterati” feeds that serve as thought captions for Most Excellent Superbat are still fun, and the story overall seems to be heading somewhere interesting.  This sort of territory (the corporate/media superteam) has been well mined these last 15 or so years, but I like the new angles that we’re seeing here.  It’s more than just ‘Youngblood 2.0’ (something that can’t even be said for Youngblood these days) with the book ending up in a more existential “What are we here?  What are heroes anyway?” kind of vibe.  All in all, it’s not a bad way to spend 3 bucks of your comic budget.  Final Crisis Aftermath – Dance #2 earns a slightly surprised 3 out of 5 stars, ranking better than many of my regular reads, and proving that it doesn’t always have to be about the A-List characters if you want to turn out an entertaining product.



About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. ~wyntermute~ on

    I just want to point out two things, and I’m going to do it in point form:
    1) “I am a sucker for a team book, especially a team book with unusual characters”
    I am too, which is why I have faith in things like the JLA, JLA and the Teen Titans — no matter how “bad” the team/book gets, there is SOME way to revive it.

    2) “it doesn’t always have to be about the A-List characters if you want to turn out an entertaining product”
    This is EXACTLY why I loved the Bwahaha-JLA with Booster, Beetle, Fire, Ice, J’onn, etc. Sometimes the “b-list” people have more interesting lives BECAUSE they are B-list. They have to have lives outside the Cape & Mask, and thus can be approached on many levels. :)

    Super Young Team seems to have this kind of potential, but…. I’m afraid they’ll just be shoehorned into “Kid Heroes with little-to-no background”. One issue had best be featuring some out-of-costume characterization, or this (in my opinion) runs the risk of turning out as an experiment in “hero reinvention” a la ‘Tangent Comics’. “Ooh! Let’s smash Aquaman and Black Canary and Shrinking Violet and Hawkman all together, and then split up what we get ‘tween two chicks!” “Yeah!! YEAH! What if, like, Batman stole Superman’s costume?” “Green Lantern + Red Tornado = Red Lan…Oops, can’t do that… Uh…. Atomic Tornado Lantern Boy? Hmmm… Let’s drop the Tornado.” etc.. Wow. This was WAY longer than I intended, and I’ll wrap up with this: I _like_ this. I actually, honestly, LIKE it. No real disclaimers or “buts” at all. S.Y.T. = P.G.T. (pretty good time!)

  2. ~wyntermute~ on

    I just noticed I typed “JLA” twice, beneath my first “point”. Please read one of those as “JSA”. Man, I wish this thing had an “edit” button. :D

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