Last year, as part of my contribution to the Hero Histories, I covered the hero known asÂ The Green Lama. In the time since then, we have seen The Green Lama be a major player in the Project Superpowers series.Â Now that he has been established as a major player in the Dynamite/Superpowers Universe, it is time to give him villain to fight. Introducing: Bloodlust!
The series starts by giving a quick review of where we are and Green Lamaâ€™s place in this world, starting with a flash back to 1940 and we see how the Green Lama and his aid Tsarong defending London during the blitz.Â He thinks back at how in those days, the enemy was directly in front of them and it was easy to identify good from evil. Now flasing to the present, he reflects how the super powered are fighting each other and sides are not as easy to determine.
Let me give a quick rundown of the world we know here. At the end of Project: Superpowers, Green Lama and his allies had wrested New York City from an evil cabal. In the process, Jethro Dumont, the Green Lama, called upon The Green (think a elemental presence) to change the New York into New Shangri-La, a virtual paradise of lush forest and jungle like landscapes. Not only does he get his powers from The Green, he also gains information. Today, The Green tells him that something terrible has happened in Sacramento, California, there have been deaths, a lot of them, and they are connected to the Green Lama. Using his powers, he travels to the location, via The Green.
In Sacramento, we arrive on a scene of carnage, followers of the Green Lama litter the floor of their meeting place like so many broken branches. They have been murdered to send a message to the Green Lama, a message from a twisted beauty named Bloodlust. She wants the blood of the Green Lama, to find out why, you have to read the book.Â As the story unfolds, we are given a glimpse at how past choices can affect the people who follow, how different people interpret events depending on what side of the coin they are on, and we witness the death of a hero.Â As an added bonus, we are treated to a two page retelling of the Green Lamaâ€™s origin as told through the diary of his aid and confidant, Tsarong.
Iâ€™ve been keeping an eye on the Dynamite/Superpowers Universe since Alex Ross and company brought us the first series. Now with the sequel to that series having recently started, and the accompanying mini-series which fleshed out key players, we finally have a glimpse at the bad guys, and its one hell of a glimpse! Alex Rossâ€™s cover is spectacular while Joe Caseyâ€™s script fits this new world to a T! The interior art is handled by Jonathan Lau with colors by Ivan Nunes, and it is as big a treat as the glimpse of the Alex Ross designs for the characters appearing in this issue. The two page origin story has art featuring Doug Klauba, and in my opinion is of high enough quality to run in the showcase spot, which says a lot about the caliber of this issue.
Instead of taking these public domain characters and dropping them into a standard superhero universe and churning out the same played stories, Alex Ross and Dynamite have created a world that pushes new ideas.Â This latest entry just proves that the Big Two better be watching their backs; a universe with stories of this quality will quickly raise the bar on what readers expect out of superheroes. Yes, the premise of the villain Bloodlust may seem a little clichÃ©, but Ross and Caseyâ€™s handling of it work well in this world, and you find yourself looking forward to seeing her again and learning more of her origins.
Project Superpowers: Meet the Bad Guys #1 arrives Wednesday, August 19th. If you want something that is more than run of the mill superhero antics, pick it up.Â Iâ€™m giving it 4 out of 5 stars and adding it to my pull list, so should you!