Writer: Christos Gage
Artist: Doug Mahnke, David Baron (colors)
Publisher: DC Comics/WildStorm
The cover art to Post Human Division may very well be killing the series. The disproportionate picture of team leader, Doran, gracing the cover, all bulging muscles and veins, comes across as being somewhat silly. Much of the contents of the book share this characteristic, but somehow Gage manages to make parts of it work.
Gage has moved StormWatch in a new direction with Post Human Division by taking the superhuman enforcement group down to street level. Rather than flying around and combating world eating robots or huge psychic armies, the focus has been on more practical threats, such as organized crime. This has worked out well, combining the traditional super-powered plotline with police enforcement and in-depth looks at the characters.
Unfortunately, in this issue, the old StormWatch foes, the daemonites, are back. The daemonites, while extremely powerful, tend to look like rejects from an S&M club. Combining the new PHD story direction with them results in these bad guys running around an extremely mundane looking 18th Police Precinct. While the idea may have worked in the hands of a different artist, here it only emphasizes just how silly these villains look.
Regardless, there are a number of things within this story to like. Not the least of which is watching a bunch of beat cops kick the snot out of the daemonites. The highlight of this being Parisí escape from Amadeus. While Paris may be far from a beat cop, itís still great fun watching him take a bit out of crime through the dandyís superior attitude. Gageís humor is also present throughout. If you havenít read the book yet, hereís a tip: keep an eye on Dr. Shawís hands. All four of them.
Character development continues to be a strength of the book. Dino, a washed up super-villain himself, continues to develop as a smart and capable (as well as hilarious) member of the PHD team. Fahrenheit, long suffering from the mental stress of losing her powers, reclaims her confidence and then some when she rolls into battle in this issue. Black Betty, an apprentice (which is just magic jargon for sidekick) has been developed into an interesting and full character.
This issue concludes the daemonite story arc. With a dramatic exit, reminiscent of old Justice League cartoons, the bad guy disappears underground, swearing he will return again to wreck havoc upon PHD. Hopefully, heíll stay underground for awhile.
If you liked this review, be sure to check out more of the authorís work at http://madbastard.hypersites.com
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