"Part Four: Bulletproof"
Writer: Christos N. Gage
Artists: Steven Cummings (p), Jimmy Palmiotti (i), James Sinclair (colors)
Publisher: DC Comics
Plot: As he shows his bulletproof attacker that he can still be taken down, Deadshot is troubled by the idea that keeping his neighbourhood safe looks to be doing more harm than good. His girlfriend seriously doubts her ability to stay with him if he keeps up his role as a hired killer. However, while Deadshot decides to attempt living a normal life, his past life is likely to make his domestic bliss a short-lived experiment.
Comments: While part of me is quite pleased to see Deadshot getting some of the respect that I feel the character deserves, I can't help but feel that this mini-series would have been better served if DC had given Christos N. Gage some more impressive toys to play with. It doesn't really mean as much to have Deadshot hand a bulletproof opponent his head, when this character has never been seen before, and whose entire purpose in the story is to play the role of a warm body that Deadshot can take out. This feeling is further heightened by the final page cliff-hanger, as the curtain is pulled away and the army that will be gunning for Deadshot in the final issue is an army of nobodies. Can you imagine the buzz that this issue would have generated if that reveal had offered up a real contender like Deathstroke? Now I realize that Deadshot's gimmick involves gunplay, and that DC might be hesitant to lend some of their more more impressive toys as when Deadshot pulled off his victory it might take some of the shine off their new, improved villains, but the entertainment value of this mini-series is seriously hampered by the fact that it's stuck with such bottom of the barrel opponents that it's never able to create the illusion that Deadshot might not be able to win this fight. Still, the issue serves a nice object lesson as Deadshot shows a bulletproof opponent that they can still be taken out. However, the follow-up material that involves Deadshot deciding to live a normal life is less effective, as it feels like a plot contrivance that will quickly be reversed. I'd be surprised if Deadshot's new domestic situation lasts beyond the first couple pages of the next issue.
Steven Cummings turns in another solid effort. He has a surprising good eye when it comes to the delivery of the action sequences. They certainly could have a little more energy, but I'm impressed by how clearly the action is presented, as there's a great little sequence where Deadshot turns the tables on his attacker, and the art manages to underscore nicely how dangerous he can be when he's backed in a corner. In fact, the effectiveness of this scene is what left me a little disappointed that Deadshot's opponents are so far down the ladder. Now the art could've done a better job of selling Deadshot's injuries. It's a little difficult to understand why his girlfriend is so concerned when she pulls back his mask. For the most part though, I'm quite happy with the art, and as an added bonus we're also getting covers by Mike Zeck, who I consider to be one of the best cover artists to ever work in the industry, and he's still pretty impressive. Here's hoping the higher ups at DC send more work his way, as he's deserving of all the work he can handle.
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