When last we met, Traci 13 learned that dad Dr Terry Thirteen and his HIVE colleagues were set to unleash death from space on the Atlanteans and Themyscirans – killing millions of blameless Europeans in the process. This time she quests around the world, guided by the tarot cards of late mentor Madame Xanadu, looking for someone who can help.
She meets a lonely Red Tornado in Japan; a Nazi-hunting Natasha Irons in Brazil; Beast Boy, a tragic pawn in Grodd’s gorilla invasion of Namibia; Guy Gardner, only wanting a quiet life in Australia; Circe, a bitter captive in a cave in Antarctica; and Jason Todd, Gotham priest.
It’s a whirlwind tour, an economic snapshot of the horrors held by the World of Flashpoint. Traci faces exhaustion as she teleports from spot to spot, unable to find someone who can and will help her. Pleasingly, for those of us who remember the good kid he once was in the regular DC Universe, it’s Jason who puts the jigsaw puzzle together for Traci, sending her back to Dr Thirteen’s satellite and a knockout climax.
This is efficient, stylish storytelling. Writer Rex Ogle speedily sets up the issue’s parameters, then fills them with entertaining detail. He demonstrates that in any reality, urban magician Traci 13 deserves to be recognised as a top-flight heroine. She’s caring, tough, talented, a shoo-in for some future Justice League line-up. For now, though, she’s all alone, facing a massive challenge.
Artist Eduardo Francisco has fun playing with the visual spins on familiar faces, though it’s sad to see Changeling in such a sorry state (mind, I thought he was the Garfield who died in last week’s Canterbury Cricket one-shot). There are characters here I didn’t expect to see in the Flashpoint event, but here they are, all with a part to play in the hero’s journey of Traci 13.
The stunning cover comes from Brett Booth, Norm Rapmund and Andrew Dalhouse and is the perfect capper to a pleasing chunk of crossover goodness.