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Welcome to Tranquility #5

Posted: Friday, April 6, 2007
By: Chris Murman



Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: Neil Googe

Publisher: DC Comics


Quick impression of me after I closed this book: ďDude, that sucked.Ē

Quick impression of me after I thought about it for a day: ďYou know what? I actually like this. It may be one of the best so far in this series.Ē

Why the overnight change? Very simply, I realized that Simone was setting us up all along. After reading the first four issues, I felt this book was setting up to be JSA vs. Teen Titans (or Avengers vs. Young Avengers depending on your preference of the big two publishers). Weíve seen it before, and even though I thought the battle royale between the geezers and the whipper-snappers would be awesome for Googe to draw, it would have been predictable and tired.

Instead, weíre treated to some payoff finally as to who is responsible for the mysterious events happening in our little town of Tranquility. We find out who killed Mr. Articulate and the TV cameraman, and we learn Sweet Sally actually can act like his name when heís not doing his Black Canary impersonation.

Looks like the good guys arenít so good after all. Are we sure this isnít a Marvel book?

All joking aside, you get the feeling going through this book that things are getting to be a Ray Bradburyesque type of strange. Please nod your head yes like you understand or Iíll sick Thom Young on you. The comment that stuck with me was the whole ďmaybe itís in the waterĒ statement made by the now alone and scared TV reporter. How is it that the Pink Bunny can look 30 years too young? How is it the good guys are so powerful and merely playing bully on their former enemies? Youíre telling me nobody else remembered the secret word that made Maxi-Man into his Captain Marvel-like self?

We knew something was amiss in this sleepy little town. It just took a TV crew and the death of a respected ladies man to bring it to a head. Now it would seem as if there are people in danger outside of city limits.

Again, please let me state that this book is one of Simoneís finest efforts, if not her best. Sheís breaking new creative ground on Birds of Prey, and thatís no slouch effort in its own right from what Iíve read. This, however, is a different story all together. In my opinion, itís easier for a writer to draw me in to a book based on already popular characters (donít tell me Barbara Gordon isnít either). Itís extremely difficult to create your own specific universe (based, of course, on the parent companyís characters) and keep me going after this many issues.

I feel like a broken record talking about Googe now. It would be a waste of space to talk about how well he is doing on a book that should sell more than it does, because Iíve said it in just about every review of this series so far. Neil keeps up the good work; I just missed getting to see the introduction of more colorful characters. Hopefully weíll get more as this series goes on.

This now marks the fifth month of me begging all of you to buy this book. What in the world is keeping you from buying it? Thereís plenty I would have done differently with this series, but the point Iím trying to make is thatís why I like Simoneís work. I could have picked said canned effort by a lot of writers that are heroic and entertaining reads, but Gail has gone one step further and surprised me on more than one occasion with this book.

There is a ton to complain about in this book, but thereís also even more to like about Welcome to Tranquility. Please go buy itÖif you donít like it, Iíll send you an IOU.



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