Worlds are about to collide, just outside the window… on Danger Street! Your Major Spoilers review of Danger Street #1 from DC Comics awaits!
DANGER STREET #1
Writer: Tom King
Artist: Jorge Fornes
Colorist: Dave Stewart
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Editor: Brittany Holzherr
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: December 13, 2022
Previously in Danger Street: Joining the Justice League is a goal for any superhero, but what happens when a quest for membership takes a sinister turn? Join Starman, Metamorpho, and Warlord as they look to prove themselves worthy by summoning and defeating Darkseid in battle. Soon they’ll learn that calling upon a New God never ends well, and their world is headed for a crisis as a result!
IT’S A FIRST-ISSUE SPECIAL!
Danger Street #1 opens in a bar, as an unseen man places the Helmet of Nabu on the table… and it begins to weave a tale of a far-off kingdom, once upon a time. On the streets of Manhattan, the kids of Danger Street (Good Looks, Non-Fat, Crunch, and Bananas are joyriding on an ATV when they’re pulled over by the local police. Specifically, an officer who calls them “Dingbats” and refuses to accept their label of “Lady Cop.” Elsewhere in the world, The Creeper lays a terrible beating on a criminal, while his alter-ego Jack Ryder awaits news of his latest interview. Elsewhere elsewhere, would-be heroes Starman and Warlord await the return of their friend, Metamorpho, who has finally found the thing that will get them into the Justice League for sure, this time! In yet another location, Manhunter Mark Shaw is upbraided by the Grandmaster of his secret cult, while the warrior called Atlas is summoned from beyond.
And then, one of our players ends up dead in the desert.
A LOT OF CANON-WELDING GOING ON
After the demise of Showcase, the legendary anthology that launched the Silver Age of Comics, DC didn’t have an equivalent title to debut new characters and concepts. That’s where 1975’s First Issue Special came into play, providing tryouts for new additions to the DC Universe. Mike Grell’s Warlord was probably the most successful of them, but the post-Zero Hour Starman spun out of the book as well. This issue (and the series at large) is determined to take all the players of that book, from the grade school millionaires of the Green Team to Doctor Fate, and put them all together in a larger narrative, but things aren’t quite gelling just yet. King’s script plays with the concepts in ways that are interesting, but in putting them all together in a seemingly realistic Los Angeles, it also files down the strange edges of the concepts. Warlord is no longer in a hidden land under the Earth’s crust, Metamorpho is not a cool archaeologist, and The Green Team is apparently running Fox News. Fornes’ art is much more successful than the story, as it manages to combine the aesthetic of characters originally drawn by Kirby, Ditko, Fradon, and Walt Simonson into one believable reality. This art is also able to do things that the original wasn’t, such as making Non-Fat of the Dingbats actually Black, as Kirby’s illustrations strongly implied.
BOTTOM LINE: GREAT ART, CONVOLUTED STORY
The concept of Danger Street #1 is one that I’m interested in, but unlike his work on The Human Target, King’s gritty realism doesn’t serve all these characters well, leaving the art and a clever framing sequence to carry more than it feels like they should, earning 3 out of 5 stars overall. I’m still in for the long haul at this point (Danger Street has been solicited as a 12-issue Black Label mini) but I’m hoping these creators have some surprises up their sleeves as to where we go next.
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DANGER STREET #1
What do THIRTEEN different characters, teams and titles have in common? Not a whole lot, and this issue has a lot of heavy lifting to do to make it work, but the art does wonders.