Final Crisis Aftermath Run #1 review

Because no one demanded it, the Human Flame gets his own mini series. Still, there’s always room for great books that arise from a stroke of creative genius rather than focus groups.

The story takes up where Final Crisis left off, with him having killed the Martian Manhunter. He’s dusting himself off and throwing himself back into crime to gain enough money to disappear off the radar, convinced that both heroes and villains will want his head.

The Human Flame is a sweaty, hairy, overentitled bulldog of a guy, as deluded as he is violent. And he’s very violent, savagely punching a nurse in an uncomfortable opening spread. He treats his family like crap, puts kids in danger and doesn’t think twice about hurting adult bystanders.

Yes. writer Matthew Sturges and artist Freddie Williams II do a terrific job of fleshing out Mike Miller . . . and there’s the problem. He’s such a shit that spending a whole issue with him in heavy going – and there are five issues to come.

So yes, some books do arise because someone has a terrific story they really want to tell. This one, though, reads like it was assigned to extremely competent creators – so far, I can’t see any point to it other than character-building unpleasantness. Supposedly there’s at least one shocking moment each issue. I’m not entirely sure what, among the catalogue of nastiness, qualified as that this time. I think it involved the Human Sheep, poor lamb.

I don’t need guaranteed shocks to convince me to buy a book, just a strong story featuring a compelling character. I’ll give this another issue because Sturges and Williams are good, but I’ll be studying the solicitations closely to see whether I want to try another Run after that, because as of this issue I’d be happy to never see ‘Nipple Flame’ again.

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