When an ancient foe rears his head, will Samson be able to overcome him, or is our hero doomed to a watery grave? Meet The Bad Guys, the series devoted to introducing new and ominous threats to the Superpowers Universe, rolls out issue number three by introducing Dagon, ancient man/fish god!

PSPBadGuys03_COVER.jpgTitle: Project Superpowers – Meet The Bad Guys #3
Written by: Alex Ross and Joe Casey
Art by: Carlos Paul and Debora Carita, with direction from Alex Ross
Cover by: Alex Ross

As an unnatural storm strikes the West Coast, the Green Lama and the assembled heroes argue over whether this is a threat that they need to address. While Scarab contends that there are other issues more important for them to fight, The Owl makes the point that they have a general mandate to protect, especially if the threat has a meta-physical origin. As the heroes discuss the issue, Samson takes the decision away from them. He proclaims that the threat is unnatural, and that only he will be able to deal with it. After using his powers to send both Samson and Hydro to the storm, Lama and his fellow heroes wonder aloud about the origins of Samson. They believe that something is wrong him, something fundamental, and they are not sure what to do about it.

In Big Sur, California, things look bleak. The storm has come up practically out of no where and is threatening to destroy the town. As townspeople hide in fear and run for shelters, the reader sees a large, monstrous figure off the coast of the town. Standing out of the water like a mythical leviathan, this is Dagon, the half man/half fish god of biblical times. He has come to reassert his authority, and he plans on letting nothing stand in his way.

As Hydro tries to help the citizens find shelter and to stop the flood of water, Samson leaps out to meet the behemoth in hand to hand combat. But what can he do against an enemy who is not only invisible to everyone else, but may make him question his own faith and beliefs?

Alex Ross and Joe Casey have worked up another unique addition to the Project Superpowers Universe in the form of Dagon. By taking an foe who has and actual biblical connection to the hero Samson, they essentially added another layer to their new mythology and have given it a layer of realism. But this is not the first time Ross has done such a thing; look to his Kingdom Come series and the characters Gog and Magog. The story itself, while a vehicle to introduce Dagon, gives us the best glimpse into the character of Samson we have had since his introduction in the first Project: Superpowers series.  He is a character who is strong in his faith, but he must constantly face things which are contrary to that faith. He makes for a rich character, and he has my vote to receive his own mini-series.

Now the interior artwork is something to behold as well, as Carlos Paul and Debora Carita lay out some gorgeous work here. Carlos Paul has some nice layouts and panel compositions, but the colors by Carita really caught my eye. I’ve seen her work before with DC and Marvel, but her Dynamite work is, well, dynamite! The colors have some excellent highlights, and I wonder if there where done digitally or the old fashioned way?  If you know, leave a comment to educate me. I was really struck by her work in this issue.

Now in the back if the issue, we are again treated to an exceptional two page origin that has become one of the highlights of the PS Universe. This time, Jim Krueger and Doug Klauba focus on Samson, giving you an overview of the characters through the eyes of a doomed enemy. It gives you the basic information on Samson as well as a little flash fiction at the same time.

It often feels as if there are a lot of open plot points at the end of these Meet The Bad Guys issues, and this one is no exception. Dagon’s very existence has brought Samson’s beliefs to question, and it has opened up a whole slew of possibilities in character growth and story threads. Throw in the questions that his own friends have about him, and you have to wonder when, not if, he is getting a spotlight mini-series. In my opinion, of the three issues out there, this third is the best of the bunch. It focuses on a character who could have been a one trick pony and opens up new possibilities with him. The one bad thing is that there is still a good deal of resistance to these characters and their world. The way everything seems to focus around Green Lama and a choice few others bothers me, but it is nice to see Samson get the light for a little. Near as perfect an issue as you can get, I give Project Superpowers – Meet the Bad Guys #3, 4.5 out of 5 Stars. I’m sure there are those out there who will enjoy taking apart the issue piece by piece, but I just enjoyed a good story.



About Author

Back in February of 2008, Stacy Baugher wrote his first article for Major Spoilers and started a solid run of work that would last for over two years. He wrote the first series of Comic Casting Couch articles as well as multiple Golden Age Hero Histories, reviews and commentaries. After taking a hiatus from all things fandom he has returned to the Major Spoilers fold. He can currently be found on his blog, , were he post progress on his fiction work as well as his photography and life in general, and on Twitter under the handle @stacybaugher . If you're of a mind, he also takes on all comers with the under the Xbox Live Gamertag, Lost Hours. He currently lives in Clinton, Mississippi with his understanding wife, and two kids.


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