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Number of the Beast #3

Posted: Saturday, May 17, 2008
By: Ray Tate

Scott Beatty
Chris Sprouse, Karl Story (i), Johnny Rench (c)
DC Comics
"Angels from on High"

By now you should know that the real heroes in Number of the Beast are trapped in a government containment facility and being fed a virtual reality simulation. Their minders take voyeuristic advantage of the heroes, but all of it begins to pixilate this issue.

Scott Beatty is producing nice work in Number of the Beast, and it's easy to overlook his contribution. This issue better highlights his talent since Chris Sprouse doesn't really have that many grandstanding moments.

Beatty instills tenderness between Midnight Runner, the motorcycle chick vigilante, and the Seafarer. Their relationship takes a nasty turn with the prurient rot-filled dialogue of their minder. Sweetness turns explicit, and not in a good way.

Beatty crafts heroism from Hotfoot's actions. He is the speedster, and by the dialogue of the Paladins, a practical joker and schemer. Here, at what appears to be the apocalypse, he saves lives

Beatty once again uses Neandra, a primitive Native American giantess, for comedy as well as plot development. The type of antic however is different than previous skits, which were more slapstick and blunt episodes. Black humor can be found in the way the High, the Superman stand-in, treats his old enemy.

Judging from press releases, Number of the Beast apparently hooks up to the Wildstorm crossover World’s End. The collusion of Beatty and Sprouse makes me simply want to read more adventures of this particular super-hero team, regardless of whether or not they’re part of a bigger story.



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