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Infinite Crisis Aftermath: The Battle for Bludhaven #4

Posted: Tuesday, June 13, 2006
By: Michael Bailey



Writers: Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti
Artists: Dan Jurgens and Jimmy Palmiotti

"The Battle for Bludhaven Part 4"

Publisher: DC Comics


Plot: Father Time's battle with the Atomic Knights does not go as planned with the Knights succeeding in acquiring Captain Atom. The radiation fueled villains are joined by the Nuclear Family, who the Society sent for support. The Teen Titans, along with the new Firebrand and Monolith, confront the Black Baron before being decimated by Major Force and his group.

Commentary: Well, the best mini-series Image Comics should have published in 1994 is continuing along at a frustrating pace.

Okay, maybe that was a bit harsh, but I have to admit that I am not feeling this series. I buy the latest issue and hope that things will improve and despite some promising moments here and there, I end up feeling like the writers, who normally produce quality work, are just botching the characters and concepts.

Their take on the Teen Titans is way off. Gray and Palmiotti haven't brought any of the characterization that has been previously instilled in the characters. I normally don't complain about such things because I believe a writer (or writers) should have some latitude, but Gray and Palmiotti have reduced the Titans to cardboard cut-out versions of who they are in their own title. Ravager is the best example of this. Her dialogue is filler most of the time, like when she tells Kid Devil that his fire breath smells disgusting. There was no point to it outside of trying to have the character say or do something.

And was it me or was it a coincidence that the only two characters standing at the end of the issue are the ones particular to this series or the writers?

Just asking.

Then there's Father Time. I let out a very long sigh at the end of last issue when he rolled up his sleeves and basically said bring it on. Okay, okay. We know you're a tough guy. Get over it. I was glad when they doused him with the silver gunk so he would just shut up already.

Sigh.

As much as I dislike those aspects of the series, there are some bright spots. I like how the new Freedom Fighters are shaping up; I just wish all of the character work was going to them. I always liked Major Force, and the writers are doing well by him. The best moment of the issue had to be when Force's group asked what they should do if they accidentally ran into the Titans just as they accidentally run into the Titans. It was funny and led to a fight scene that looked great even if the dialogue was weak. The Nuclear Family was a complete surprise and a welcome one.

Outside of affection for the characters (or at least older versions of the characters) the only thing keeping me around is Dan Jurgens's art. I've been a fan for years, and it is nice to see him getting some regular work. The book looks good even if the writing isn't to my taste.

In The End: I'm going to read the next two issues if for no other reason then I'm committed at this point having read the first four. This series could be a lot better. There are good points, to be sure, but frankly the synopsis at the beginning of the issue is sometimes more entertaining than the story that follows it is. Gray and Palmiotti are talented writers. I've enjoyed their work in the past, and my dislike for this series is not a personal slight. It's just not my bag, and I don't think the next two issues are going to change my mind.



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