The Shield and guest star Magog find out who the real enemy is, where’s Zira and Cornelius when you need them! Also, The Inferno continues to search for his memory and the identity of the beautiful woman, but it seems that Green Arrow and Black Canary are determined to snuff out his efforts.
Last issue, we saw The Shield embark on a mission to recover a team of thirty-two soldiers who have disappeared in the mountains between Bialya and Kahndaq. After obtaining a young guide, and passing out some comic books, Lt. Higgins, aka The Shield, sets forth to find those men. Under fire by the same men that he was sent to save, he is startled to find that he is not the only super human in the area. Magog, of the Justice Society of America is on the scene, and Lt. Higgins is correct in thinking that his job got a good deal harder.
The second issue picks upright where the first left off. Under fire and forced to work as a team, Lt. Higgins and Magog take down the brainwashed soldiers and call in an dust off to retrieve them. While allowing the young guide, Shuja, to take a rest, Magog and The Shield take a little time to talk, and discover that they probably would not be friends in any situation.Â With the Shield and Magog’s conversations, Eric Trautman throws in a nice does of Army/Marine animosity. In fact, his dialogue is one of the stronger aspects of this book. Higgins has a voice of a professional, and his inner dialogue does a lot of the work in letting you know what is going on. Everything form aspects of his suit to his feelings toward Magog are neatly laid out for the reader to see.
after finding out where the other brainwashed soldiers are located, Higgins formulates a plan which essentially is him walking up and surrendering to them. Taken inside, we see the possible master mind behind this all, but appearances can be deceiving. When the real villain shows, our heroes will have to stop monkeying around if they plan on getting out alive.
This issue is a little more action-packed than the first, but there are a few things that seem missing. One is the explaination of why Magog is in the area to begin with. While he does have a military history, his presence is not fully explained. I enjoyed Trautman’s story, and as I mentioned I thought that the liberal use of Higgins’ though captions helped the story. I felt as if I was getting my money’s worth. That said, Magog still seems like a training wheel, and the story would move on just as well without him. Mick Rudy has some interesting layouts here, and it is also interesting that he does not seem to be afraid to draw small. So many artist insist on making everthing LARGE that is is a nice change to see someone who wants to occasionally works on a smaller scale. As with the last issue Art Lyon’s colors add detail to the pages, and some of the small details he covered must have about drove him blind!
Second Feature Credits:
Published by DC Comics
Written by Brandon Jerwa
Art by Gregg Scott
Like our first feature, this story kicks up right where we left off last issue. In this particular case, that happens to be with Green Arrow pointing one of his extinguisher shafts at the Inferno. Ollie is there to stop the Inferno,and he if he can’t do it on his own, he has one of the number one fire departments in the DCU to help him, the Star City FD. Unfortunately, their efforts just seem to get him hotter and they soon have a bigger problem in the form of a real fire. Running away from the scene and leaving Green Arrow and the fire department to put out the blazes, he smack into the Black Canary. They have a gratuitous fight and Inferno uses his dual identity to get away. He later finds a group of men who are down on their luck to help him, but he should know that some men will do anything for money.
The Brandon Jerwa’s story is continuing to move along well, but, as with Magog in the main feature, the Green Arrow and Black Canary appearances really add nothing to the mix. In the context in which they are presented, their sole purpose seems to have been to get some familiar faces for the reader to seem. Again, they seemed forced, as I was not even aware that we where in Star City, although I am sure it was mentioned at some point last issue. The art in this one is acceptable, and it may just be me, but some of the detail I enjoyed last issue seems missing here. But it is not as muddy as the one-shot, which is something to be thankful for. Greg Scott’s style works, but the blacks are just so heavy…
In closing, it is an interesting book. That said, it is a hard one to rate, as we have two separate and equal stories, neither depending on the other for anything. But, when you pay for one you pay for both, and that may not be a good thing. I will not bother trying to give separate grades and will layout a score for the whole book. That score is a 2.5 out of 5. It is a middle of the road book that is so close to being above average, but there just seems to be something stopping it from taking off.