“Between Dark and Dawn”
Writer: Gail Simone
Artists: Ron Adrian and Rob Lea
Children are dying, wearing the costumes of dead heroes, and Barbara doesn’t want to see one more death occur.
The cult plot is very topical, updated by Simone to include an air of militia paranoia. But what’s best about it is simply its ready supply of antagonists, allowing us to see our trio of heroines in action. Barbara gives Dinah the thankless task of interviewing the grieving parents, while sending Helena deep into the heart of the probable cause for a more physical confrontation in a rain-soaked Oregon.
This cult preys on intelligent, internet-savvy kids, and Simone and Adrian together create a pretty distinctive messianic figure to deliver the familiar anti-society spiel. This issue is really a vehicle to show off Helena’s talents (as the clever cover by Texeira – where’s he been? – attests; it alludes to a telling moment within with old-school attitude and fashionable lingo), and she shines in several scenes that require her to demonstrate, as Barbara puts it, more subtlety than one might expect.
Dinah’s role is less center-stage this issue, but Simone is also making room for a surprise guest star/plot-twist revealed at issue’s end. And what a pleasure it is to see that under-utilized character in competent hands again.
I recently added this book to my sub, after noting I’d bought the last four issues in a row. While the art team has yet to settle down (I prefer Adrian’s crisp style to either Benes or Bennet, for the record), one only wishes the failed TV show featuring the same characters had had scripts as tight as Simone’s.
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