Heatwave continues his bid to break out of flying prison the Hall of Doom, aided by Eel O’Brien, the stretchable stinker who hates to be known as Plastic Man. They battle unofficial prison guards Atomic Skull and Animal Man, and find out who’s controlling the executing Amazo android that put paid to KGBeast, Slipknot and Shadow Thief.
It’s Ray Palmer, the Atom, one-legged in the World of Flashpoint due to white dwarf star radiation poisoning. He winds up crushed between Heatwave’s fingers. Animal Man has his nose bitten off, before Heatwave kerbs and kills him. Oh, and the issue begins with Cluemaster turned into a human kebab.
By the end of the book, Heatwave has triumphed over all, with neither metahuman abilities nor access to his heat gun. Yep, he’s been egging Plastic Man on, but his win is mainly down to writer Adam Glass favouring him in this second of three. Glass’s attitude seems to be that as Flashpoint is basically an Elseworlds and heroes can be killed, well, may as well moida da bums. And if you can laugh at the ghost of the Comics Code Authority along the way, huzzah.
It’s my own fault. I didn’t enjoy last issue, and came back this time only to see what the deal was with Plastic Man. I was hoping to see Eel’s basic good nature break through, but it turns out he’s as much of a scumbag as Heatwave.
While the brutality isn’t to my taste, the self-deluding Animal Man – willing to kill Heatwave out of self-interest but telling himself he’s a hero – is intriguing. I’d be interested in learning who did murder his family, a crime he denies carrying out.
And the link to the Green Arrow one-shot is smart, while the disability twist on the Atom is clever – it’s just a shame that the twist is followed by a squish. Glass seems to enjoy prison brutality too much for my stomach, and if this mini-series is an indication of his approach to the upcoming Suicide Squad book, DC won’t be getting my pennies.
Oh, and despite the title, there’s still no grouping of villains that may be considered a Legion of Doom.
Rodney Buchemi’s layouts are efficient, and he does well with emotion and movement. Jose Marzan Jr’s finishes are typically lush. And Arthur Fujita manages to set the orange prison uniforms against the facility’s green walls without ever making me feel ill. Together, the artists create a tense, visceral world that serves the nasty script well. And it’s all nicely lettered by Dave Sharpe and topped off with a fantastic cover by Miguel Sepulveda and Jose Villarrubia – I rather like the treatment of Animal Man’s costume, with that rubbery ‘A’.
With one more issue to go, I can see me buying the finale to see what happens, but after two reviews saying this just isn’t my cup of caffeine, I promise to shut up.