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Number of the Beast #4

Posted: Monday, June 2, 2008
By: Ray Tate

Scott Beatty
Chris Sprouse, Karl Story (i), Johnny Rench (c)
Wildstorm / DC
"Horses"

The High, Number of the Beast's Superman, has taken a walk out of his containment unit. No small feat since it turns out that he was the blob from previous issues. Beatty explains the trick through good if far-fetched science fiction. He carries out the explanation through the voice of a female lieutenant speaking to a group of male generals.

As the lieutenant gives her science lesson, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse show up in the virtual reality inhabited by the Paladins. Oh, and Dr. Sin is up and about, and he's got a big gun as well as a bone to pick with the High.

The fault in this issue of Number of the Beast is it's overall shallowness. While kudos must be given to Beatty for choosing a female to be smart and science-oriented, the rest of the characters exhibit little personality. Tumbleweed is the exception. At the same time, there's simply too much jumping around between episodes within the plot. It's difficult therefore for the reader to become overly involved with any of the plights or events seen.

I will say that Beatty's and Sprouse's Four Horsemen are more impressive figures that Giffin's Four Horsemen, which attacked Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman in a long, drawn out mini-series. Karl Story's inks as well give them much more depth and strength, and Rench's color selections imbue them with a kind of grandness that lends deific mien.

Not a bad issue of Number of the Beast, and I'm still curious to see what happens next, but this chapter lacks the vitality of previous issues.



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