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Number of The Beast #2

Posted: Saturday, April 26, 2008
By: Ray Tate

Scott Beatty
Chris Sprouse, Karl Story (i), Johny Rench (c)
DC Comics
Number of the Beast is adequate entertainment for the super-hero minded comic book fan. The story plays on several elements in science fiction, but as one may expect, it's really the art that makes the issue worth having.

The story opens on a sexual escapade between the drunken Aeronaut who is apparently very stingy in the boudoir, a raspberry to the alcoholic, arrogant Iron Man. He doesn't pleasure Honeybee to completion, and this is partially due to her stinger misfiring. Presumably it's on her rear-end.

I have to agree with her running commentary targeting Aeronaut. His decision to interrupt coitus does make him a "big jerk" and apparently a blind one. Number of the Beast is ostensibly set in the '50s, and the era is best signified visually by Honeybee. Chris Sprouse gives her a beehive hairdo, butterfly wing glasses and the curves of a '50s glamour gal. She looks as a result very hip for the era when compared to her more timeless contemporaries.

In addition to spotlighting the new representative character, Number of the Beast looks at the other Paladins. The Thrush and the Falconette have a nice short battle in a Church. The magic man Mago and Engine Joe, a robotic gent, interact in a fun way, and there's a sly slight to the oil tycoons snorting black gold like it was cocaine.

The whole story appears to suggest that the apocalypse is coming to a theater near Number of the Beast, but there's a twist to the story that takes it out of the realm of the Christian cataclysm subgenre. Beatty better ties in the military/government "subplot" that was juxtaposed with the '50s super-heroes. This entanglement leads to some intriguing possibilities.



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