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First Wave #2

Posted: Monday, May 17, 2010
By: Andre Lamar

Brian Azzarello
Rags Morales, Nei Ruffino (c)
DC Comics
The Spirit is now a target of the Blackhawks.

After spying on the the Blackhawks, a group of global mercenaries, The Spirit narrowly escapes with his life and returns home. Meanwhile, the deadly soldiers begin to turn Central City upside down in pursuit of finding the blue mask wearing hero. In addition, Doc Savage is hot on the Blackhawks' trail.

Brian Azzarello returns for the second issue of this mini-series, and its evident the story arc is gradually developing. Although the author directs most of his attention towards the Spirit, he also takes time to touch upon the events of Dr. Littlejohn. Despite the absence of Batman, Azzarello gives the dark knight a cameo and an incentive for fans to expect him to receive a significant role in the next book.

Rags Morales and Nei Ruffino help to secure the serious tone in the Firstwave series, by contributing clean artwork and distinguished coloring. Ruffino's use of lighting and shadows allow Morales' images to feel alive.

As for the flaws in Firstwave, Brian Azzarello's monologues were unclear and difficult to understand at times. For instance, the beginning of the book features dialogue between Spirit and Ebony, explaining the hero's near-death encounter with the Blackhawks. However Spirit and Ebony aren't illustrated in a couple of the panels. After re-reading the sequence, the conversation began to flow and make sense. But initially it was a tad confusing to differentiate between who was speaking. If this style of dialogue is going to be used in future issues of the comic, my simple suggestion is for the editor to use a different color for each speech bubble. This would provide a smooth experience for the reader and prevent any mix-ups.

Lastly, its disappointing that Batman was virtually nonexistent in this book. The idea of seeing Spirit, Doc Savage and Batman fighting together is delayed until at least another issue. This isn't necessarily the author's fault, since it takes time to unveil a story, but its a let down if you're expecting to see the caped crusader in action.

On the contrary, this prolonged wait for Batman may prove to be worth it as the storyline continues to unfold.

Truth be told, Firstwave #2 is a nice looking book with decent writing. Unfortunately, Batman fans must wait a little longer until their hero receives the spotlight in this miniseries.



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