Writer: Bob Harras
Artists: Marcos Martin (p), Alvaro Lopez (i)
Publisher: DC Comics
Plot: As Tim Zanetti finds it increasingly difficult to adjust to the changes that he has undergone and looks to be wondering if he's still even human, his attention gets drawn to a mysterious object in the desert that looks to be connected to his transformation. However, after discovering that one of the people working with him is his son, Tim is given reason to play the hero when this mysterious object also earns itself the attention of the Kobra terrorist organization, and Tim is forced to keep this situation from spiraling out of control.
Comments: This issue left me a little wary about Bob Harras's ability to keep the mystery element of his hero's powers and the connection to the dimensional entities engaging enough that readers would be willing to continue forward armed with little to no insight about what the full story was. I'm concerned that he's going to tease readers with half-truths and vague hints, and that before long the readers are simply going to grow frustrated by the idea that we always look to be grasping at answers that are forever out of reach. Now it's far too early to label this series another X-File style conspiracy, where the sole interest of the writing seems to be about stringing the viewers along until they give up on ever getting any real answers, but this issue did mark the first time where I found myself wondering what exactly was the big hook that was supposed to be holding my attention. Still, this issue earns marks for the seamless way it has managed to introduce elements of the DCU. It makes perfect sense that an organization like Kobra would be drawn to this mysterious eruption of extra-dimensional energies in the desert, and the final page should leave most fans quite excited, as Bob Harras follows the well-established tradition of having the JLA appear in the fourth issue. In the end I rather enjoyed the idea that our main character has real trouble adjusting to his new life, and the battle that he has with the forces of Kobra has a wonderful sense of urgency to it, as how can one not be impressed by the final page reveal? The issue presents a bit of a continuity problem though, as one moment Tim is terrified that his son will make physical contact with him, but a couple pages later he's diving toward them to push them out of the way of an explosion.
Marcos Martin brings a very impressive level of detail to these pages. I'm delighted to see that so far he also looks to be an artist who doesn't look to have any problem meeting the monthly deadlines, as nothing kills reader interest in a new title than an erratic shipping schedule. As it stands, Marcos Martin's work is about as good as one could have hoped for. It tells the story in a clear, visually exciting manner, and while there are still some questions about the character's abilities, this doesn't stop the impressive displays of power. I mean there's a great scene in this issue where Tim atomizes a desk simply by touching it. The big action sequence later in the book is also worth a mention, as how can one not love the destruction of the gun of a Kobra operative who was about to shoot his son, or the decidedly ominous nature of the final panel of the issue, as we see what happened to the Kobra operatives.
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