Writer: Tony Bedard
Artists: Karl Moline(p), Drew Geraci(i), Nick Bell(c)
Another standout issue of Route 666 simultaneously serves as a good jumping on point for the new reader and a strong serving for the faithful fan. We learn exactly what Cassie did to the inky phantom last issue as well as its identity and the secret of FBI director Purvis that put him under the thumb of the demonic bedfellows.
Tony Bedard in dialogue relates what has happened before and the premise of the series, but he makes the exposition fluid and given the novice nature of the questioner necessary. The reader does not feel as if he has read any of this before, and Cisco's tense delivery heightens the tension over Cassie's fate.
Cassie becomes the most proactive she ever has in the series. At first it seems as though she's attempting to borrow the Spectre's pattern of punishment, but then Mr. Bedard surprises with another aspect of Cassie's abilties. The scene at the same time shows how Cassie's powers if in the wrong hands can do unthinkable damage.
Purvis' secret nicely remarks on the parallel status of the Crossgen universe. The scenes at FBI headquarters gives Agent Melchior the opportunity to show his spine, and the way in which he acts here drastically differs from the Mulderesque premiere of the character.
Karl Moline excels in both the down to earth scenes and the scenes inside Cassie's plane of existence. The way in which the inky phantom approaches Cassie brings to mind a cartoon-like environment which is jarringly shattered by violence. The exotic look given to the New Orleans setting suits the city and contrasts the stark murder scene. The various shades to Cassie's personality brilliantly evoke her astonishing evolution and potency as a force for change but never lose sight of her characteristic look. You expect greatness from the artist of Fray, and this is what you get.
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