Writer: Christos Gage
Artist: Andy Smith
Publisher: Wildstorm / DC
Iím sad to see this book go. I wonít make a big deal out of it, but there was real talent involved with this title for all 12 issues and I will miss super-powered cops doing their thing in the Wildstorm U. That doesnít mean I donít have my share of gripes about events that took place during the past year, but thatís all water under the bridge. Iíd rather celebrate this series by looking at what I really enjoyed about this final issue.
First thingís first, there is a reason why Gage was handed the reigns to the Wildstorm Universe for the upcoming Armageddon crossover that will include this team. Christos has a real knack for pacing, framing a story around its key players and keeping me guessing from start to finish. The first six issues will stand out in my mind as some of the most fun reads Iíve had this year.
In this issue, everything got tied up with a nice, neat bow that will lead nicely into their part of the crossover. The team accomplished a certain amount of camaraderie and sense of family that is very hard to replicate. I could almost see Gorgeous and Dr. Shaw hooking up if we had another issue or two. That would have been hilarious and hideous to watch simultaneously. If you have a heart Gage, please let that come out in your coming stories about this team.
More will be said about this at another time, but Andy Smith and I had a real coming to Jesus meeting after my last review of this book. He and I are working on something that hopefully will see the light of day, but for now I want to publicly say that Smith is a stand-up guy who works very hard (and has been for nearly two decades I learned) at his craft. What I said about him rushing through the pencils is pure poppycock, and anyone who is thinking about speaking the way I did about an artist can let me know and Iíll correct a few notions you might have.
Andyís style may not be the tops on my list, but checking out some of the work heís done on a second glance made me realize there is a reason he continues to get work in this industry. I hope to see him again on comic work soon.
While Iím on the art, let me extend an apology to Mike McKone about last monthís cover critique. I know I was a bit over the top, and your work over the years is certainly more impressive than mine in this field. I really enjoyed your work on this monthís cover; I may not enjoy how you drew Paris, but Gorgeous was the true epitome of her name. Iíll keep my eye out for your coming work with the Teen Titans.
What stood out to me in this issue the most is how PHD not only took down the Walking Ghost, but made him pay for what he had done to the cops in the last issue. It was off the books, against regulations and completely cool to read in a book about working outside the law. This team made its name by doing things a bit differently than the cops and capes they work around. While I think living in the real world this way is not a good use of your time, walking the line is really cool in comics.
All in all, I still stand by my comments about the editorial direction that this line of books has been taking as of late. I donít see myself picking up any Wildstorm books any time soon, but itís not because of the work this team did. The decisions that have been made in the last six months have sealed your fate with me. After Welcome to Tranquilityís finale next month, consider my money spent elsewhere.
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