Writer: Warren Ellis
Artists: Juan Jose Ryp, Mark Sweeney (colors)
Publisher: Avatar Press
Warren Ellisís third "bet" series* for Avatar Press, Black Summer kicks off with a much gorier version of what Superman, (and to an extent Batman and Wonder Woman) did to President Luthor in the Justice League animated series episode, "A Better World." For those not in the know, the DC Trinity kill Luthor after he, either directly or indirectly, causes the death of Wally West, the Flash. However, while the death there was limited to showing a firing of Supesí "heat-vision," here its aftermath is shown in its entire splendor, starting with the cover.
As for the main story, the Big-Tthing there is a Costumeís killing of the President, Vice President and a few of their subordinates. The Costume in question is a certain John Horus. A member of the (former?) Seven Guns, Horus then goes live on video/TV, via one of the White Houseís many press conferences, and explains his actions. Do note that his explanation is not a clarification, nor is it a confession where Horus intends on giving himself up to the authorities.
On the other side is Tom Noir, Johnís (ex-?)best friend and former teammate. One of the founders of the aforementioned Seven Guns, Tom is no longer in the superhero/vigilante business having lost his leg in the Gunsí worst fight. In the same fight, he also lost his lady-love, Laura Torch, a fellow Gun. Having devolved into a (semi-)drunkard, Tom is understandably a "little" disgruntled with both his life and his former friends and teammates, so much so that not even seeing John on the boob tube and hearing what he did gets Olí Tommy to give a care about what might happen next.
The issue ends with a cliffhanger of sorts, one that had me confused about whether the Frank that appears here is the same one that was reported to have died earlier (and a Seven Gun too), or is he some totally new character. Guess weíll know about it come August, when issue #1 of this seven part mini gets released.
The artwork was kickass but then again, with Juan Jose Ryp, one doesnít expect any less. On the colors is Mark Sweeney, and not Avatarís mainstay, Andrew Dalhouse.
Conclusion: Although a little over-the-top on the political sermon, an acceptably intriguing start nevertheless.
*Ellis explains his "bet" at the end of the issue.
You can find more reviews by Bruce Logan at www.xcave.net
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