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Salvation Run #5

Posted: Monday, March 17, 2008
By: Marx Pyle

Matthew Sturges
Joe Bennett, Belardino Brabo (i), John Kalisz (c)
DC Comics
This book started with a concept that sounded kind of neat…right? It even has a great lead up with the events in Gotham Underground, Countdown and other DC books. But, it is one of those kind of concepts that could easily turn into a story that would work better as a video game. *cough* Countdown: Arena *cough*

Salvation Run is a symptom of what is going wrong in DC’s master plan of linking all of their books into storylines that lead us to Final Crisis. Too many characters with not enough time for real plot or character development, with meaningless deaths. Just as you start to get used to the cast, each new issue seems to introduce a dozen new villains. So far 50 have been introduced. The book just turns into a massive fight fest with lots of bickering between Lex Luthor’s more mentally stable villains versus Joker’s loony cronies.

Another big problem with this book, and many of the others in DC, is trying to figure out where it fits time wise. Desaad being there just seems out of sync with Death of the New Gods and Countdown.

So, what do I like? I like the talking gorilla brawl between Gorilla Grodd and Monsieur Mallah from last issue. I like how Kid Karnevil wants to skin Joker (ah, those silly kids). Most of all I like the turn of events this issue with Martian Manhunter being ratted out by Catwoman and getting beat down…bad. Oh, and the creepy scenario of Vandal Savage talking a bunch of female villains into going with him to the safe zone is a very nice, dark touch. Although I’m curious how he managed to find it.

I just feel like this story seems like a cheap marketing ploy. The deaths seem meaningless since they are either villains that know one has ever cared about or they are villains that deserve a more meaningful death than this.

I’m also having trouble understanding why the government would capture supervillians to release them on a seemingly safe planet with their weapons. I understand that many of the villains would have a rough time without their gadgets, but perhaps that grittiness mixed with a smaller cast would have taking this miniseries to the next level. Plus, it would have just made a lot more sense!

I was a little disappointed by the reveal of Desaad being behind all of this. It really wasn’t much of a surprise. Heck, what isn’t he and Darkseid not involved in anymore? The only mild surprise was that this is all meant to be a training ground for Darkseid’s troops. I sort of thought Darkseid would use it as a way to weed out the weak and then forcibly draft them.

This is a mini-series that has so much potential, but so far seems like a pointless mix of Secret Wars meets Planet Hulk. Let's hope the next issue can give salvation to this mini-series.



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