Plot: Alpha One and Gabriel Cole bond. Also, Cole begins to accept his role as Captain of Section Omega.
Comments: This series is such a breath of fresh air. Itís so different from everything else that DC is publishing right now, and while thatís a blessing, it may also be its downfall. Itís great to see and explore a new universe, but at the same time, particularly with the economy the way it is, when it comes to choosing between the tried and tested, and something new, more often than not itís the familiar that wins.
I originally intended to skip out on this series, but a few weeks ago I picked up the first two issues and was amazed by what Tomasi & Champagne are doing here. They take the Superman prototype and utilize it in the guise of Alpha One to tell stories that could never be told about the Man of Steel. Thereís even a smart reference to Clark Kent in this issue, which should put a smile on any fans face. In any event, this is a story about a super-heroís humanity, about his friendship to a normal man, Gabriel Cole, and that normal manís life. It is not terribly original, but itís cleverly told. It manages to surprise at points when it could rely on clichťs and thatís wonderful.
There is plenty of good characterization in this issue, be it between Alpha One and Cole, or Cole and his wife, Janet, or even Alpha One and Janet. Itís all well done and believable. Gabriel Cole is slowly growing to accept the role that has been thrust upon him and that journey is well paced. However, this issue does lack some focus. The murder of Captain Michael Shaw is pushed into the background and without the impetuous provided by that threat, there is very little to focus the storytelling. Yes, there is Coleís growth as a character, but unless an outside threat is made present, the title will lose focus in the long run. For a title like this, namely one that does not appeal to a wide audience and is still in its incipient phase, thatís dangerous.
The art is great. It has a darker feel that is mixed in with something of a retro look and together creates an interesting mix, one that perhaps exemplifies what this book is all about. Namely, redefining an old idea within a new, modern context.
Final Word: A good issue, there is certainly plenty to enjoy here, but this issueís cliffhanger is less than exciting. The next few issues will have to pick things up a bit. Weíve gotten a lot of good characterization. Now itís time to give this title a sense of purpose.
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