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Doctor Spectrum #2

Posted: Thursday, October 7, 2004
By: Jason Cornwell



"Full Spectrum, Part II of VI"

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

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Plot:
While his body lies in a comatose state we see Joe Ledger's mind is waging a war for control with the power crystal embedded in his hand, as the crystal appears to be sentient. After Joe gets a flash of images that reflect the world domination objectives of Hyperion, we see the crystal takes steps to erase this knowledge, but Joe looks to be gaining some measure of control in this battle on the mental landscape.

Comments:
The problem I'm having with this miniseries is that the final outcome has already been established in the page of the regular series, so any attempt to build any dramatic tension is quashed by the simple fact that we already know who wins this race. It's a bit like watching a taped hockey game after someone who watched the game live has helpfully told you the final score. Of course it doesn't help matters that the character insight isn't exactly overwhelming, as we're treated to one surprising revelation per issue, and this issue's big surprise didn't really grab me as much as expected it was supposed to, as I was left to wonder why he targeted his mother, when the issue clearly spells out the idea that the stepfather was the primary aggressor. Now perhaps I misread the scene and the scene is supposed to be conveying the idea that character mentally destroyed any emotional attachments, but if this was a stroll down memory lane than the story really needed to take the time to explain why he targeted his mother. As for the rest of the issue the issue brings up the question of why didn't the surgeons simply amputate Joe Ledger's hand, and we also get a repeat performance of the idea that Hyperion hasn't come to the planet Earth to be a selfless protector, but rather he's destined to rule the planet with an iron fist. In the end this miniseries hasn't done enough to sell me on the idea that it needed to be published, beyond the obvious answer that it generates more income for Marvel.

Travel Foreman's work reminded me of Gary Frank in the opening issue, but this issue this similarity isn't as apparent in this issue, as the art takes on a less detailed appearance during the scenes that are set within Joe Ledger's mind. Now there are some cute visual touches like the fact that the visual appearance of the bullies that torment a young Joe, as they bear a striking similarity to another group of bullies. There's also a nice visual sequence where we follow a series of images that effectively present the path of Hyperion's mental programming as they intrude upon Joe Ledger's dreams. Also while it's not terribly informative when it comes to the story inside, I do want to give the cover image full marks for managing to capture the idea that Joe Ledger is not a hero, as there's a sense that he's enjoying his position of power too much.



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