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Breach #4

Posted: Tuesday, April 19, 2005
By: Jason Cornwell



"Heroes"

Writer: Bob Harras
Artists: Marcos Martin (p), Alvaro Lopez (i)

Publisher: DC Comics


Plot: As Tim Zanetti continues to undergo a mysterious transformation, members of the JLA have arrived to investigate the tremendous, and decidedly worrisome, barrage of energies that Tim is generating. However, the U.S. Military doesn't exactly welcome the JLA's presence, but the Martian Manhunter decides that this situation decides a closer look. The situation quickly escalates into outright conflict, when Tim attacks J'Onn, and Superman attempts to stop Tim from leaving the scene.

Comments: I do have to wonder if there is some secret executive rule that the fourth issue of all new DC titles has to play host to a guest appearance by the JLA, as going all the way back to the Wolfman/Pérez New Teen Titans there does seem to be a established formula when it comes to the sales boosting guest-appearance that the JLA provides. However, I will give Bob Harras full marks for offering up a JLA guest appearance that fits seamlessly into the narrative, as it makes perfect sense that the JLA would show up to investigate the emergence of this new power in the DCU. What's more the JLA is allowed to do more in this issue that simply pop in for long enough to justify their appearance on the cover, as they become quite entangled in the events of this issue. When the situation escalates out of control, the JLA presence is really quite exciting. The scene where Tim lashes out at the Martian Manhunter is a wonderfully exciting moment, as is the sequence where Superman works to stop him from leaving. There's also a nice little moment that nicely reveals that Tim has been out of play for quite some time, as I rather enjoyed the idea that he didn't recognize the JLA, and his reaction to Superman's name made me smile. There's also some interesting material playing out away from the main story, as there are players who are manipulating events, and I like the fact that these scenes only offer up enough information to tantalize the readers, as there's a great little, seemingly innocent, domestic scene, and the final page nicely suggests that this happy family has come to a rather bad end.

Marcos Martin deserves full marks for his work on this issue, as the arrival of the JLA members has a wonderful majestic quality to it, and this issue also manages to deliver one of the best looking big impact visuals that I've encountered in quite some time, as the scene where Tim attacks the Martian Manhunter is a jaw dropper moment. The art also manages to capture perfectly the sheer intensity of the struggle between Superman and Tim, from the raw power of Superman's heat vision to the moment where Superman makes contact with Tim's exposed flesh, and one is momentarily lead to believe that Superman is in serious trouble. Now the art does get a little too cartoonish during the scene where we're introduced to the author, as the man has a decidedly freakish appearance, but the scene sells a nice ominous vibe, so his appearance wasn't overly distracting. In the end though, it's the big battle that makes this issue worth a look, as Marcos Martin turns in some lovely visuals.



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