Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Mike Avon Oeming
As the building where Deena was being held captive explodes in a fury of chaotic energy we see when the dust clears the one person to walk out of the building is Deena. As we rejoin her at the hospital we see the story that she offers up regarding what happened inside isn't entirely truthful, as she leaves out the part about her being the one firing the blasts of energy. We also see the costumed heroes collectively make their return in spite of the law that makes using powers illegal.
The one problem that I find myself having with this title is its willingness to expend a great deal of its page count to convey an idea that could be easily expressed in half the number of pages that are used. I mean six pages are used to offer up the idea that the building that Deena is inside has become a blazing inferno of raging energies. We then spend another seven pages to offer up the idea that Deena is unwilling to tell the whole truth about what happened inside the building, though to be fair a couple pages are used to deliver what has to be one of the harshest "Dear John" moments I've seen in quite some time, as Deena tells her boyfriend to hit the road. As for the rest of the issue, we see the press conference that is celebrating Deena's heroism comes under attack from a group of villains, and this provides the ideal moment for the heroes to make their dramatic return. Now there are several little moments that caught my attention, from the scene where Walker and Deena manage to express the idea that they're both glad to see she made it out of this encounter alive, to a wonderful little moment where we see the new Retro Girl comes to the realize what she has set in motion. I also rather enjoyed the bigger ideas that this issue lays the groundwork for, from Deena's new status quo, to the idea that the law that has banned powers is being challenged in the courts. Still, I can't help but get the sense that the issue could fit a little more story into its page count. However, the letter page certainly raises the entertainment value of the issue, though this month's selection lacked any laugh aloud moments.
First off I have to say the cover visual to this issue is a wonderfully simple, but undeniably powerful image, that manages to cast an ominous pall over the issue. As for the interior art, Mike Avon Oeming gets the issue off to a great start, as the chaos that has erupted inside the building where Deena is being held is perfectly conveyed by the utter confusion and panic that is reflected on the faces of the police officers. The scene where Deena emerges from the inferno was also a nice looking sequence, as was the follow-up page where we see Deena is not in the best of moods. The art also does nice work on the scene where the group of heroes make their dramatic entrance, as the characters are allowed to make an ideal return, as like all good heroes they arrive to save the day right when things looked utterly hopeless. The design elements of these heroes also have a wonderful simplicity to them that I rather enjoyed.
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