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Doctor Spectrum #1

Posted: Saturday, August 21, 2004
By: Jason Cornwell



"Full Spectrum"

Writer: Sara "Samm" Barnes
Artists: Travel Foreman (p), John Dell (i)

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Plot:
As we look back on the events that lead Joe Ledger to be merged with the alien crystal, we get an expanded look at the personal struggle that he waged to gain control over the crystal, as the book flashes back on key moments from the man's past that presumably make him into a more complex creation, and help to explain why he wasn't destroyed by the crystal's power.

Comments:
I'm not quite sure what to make of this project, as while I do feel the character of Joe Ledger could use some attention, I have to say I'm not quite sure if there was a pressing need to devote an entire six issue miniseries to fleshing out the character, and based on this first issue, this does look to be the only real purpose that this miniseries will be serving. In fact after twenty-two pages of attention being directed his way I now know that the character was abandoned by his father and raised by his mother & his stepfather. We also learn that he was caught cheating by his girlfriend, but given she already looked to have serious issues with him, we never quite get the sense that her heated departure scene made the slightest impact on the character.

In fact if this opening issue did anything it made Joe Ledger even less engaging, as instead of coming across as a man who was shaped by the events of his past so that he was focused enough mentally to safely use the crystal, instead the character comes across as a man who never had any real emotions to throw off his concentration. In fact if nothing else instead of making the character more human, and easier to identify with, instead the issue has made the character seem even more stoical. In the end I can't see how this miniseries is going to expand past this less than ambitious point, but than again it's a little too early in the game to completely write it off.

I've never seen Travel Foreman's work before but I have to say his work is an uncanny match for the art we're getting from Gary Frank on the "Supreme Power" monthly, and if nothing else this makes for a nice visual constancy between this spin-off miniseries, and it's parent title. The art also earns marks for making the transition between the different visual landscapes largely free of any confusion, as the color design does a great job of leading one into the next scene. The high intensity moments are also well presented, from the chaos of the scene where Joe Ledger leads his squadron to their exit point, to the raw intensity of the explosion when the crystal vaporizes one of the attendants.



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