Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: Ed Benes
Publisher: D.C. Comics
The final moments of this issue earned it a much higher grade than I had planned of handing out, thanks largely to the simple fact that Gail Simone does inject a much needed sense of urgency into the story when Oracle discovers something in embedded in the computer program she's trying to hack her way into. The final page is also a bit of an eye-opener, though the jaded part of me is now convinced that the final comment made by the Vixen is a sign that she's managed to slip free of the man's control, and if I had to guess I would image she managed to free herself after the Huntress shot her. In any event while the final pages do ramp up the excitement level, the opening half of the issue left me a bit flat, in that it felt like the story was treading water, as the opening tussle between the Huntress and Vixen is largely devoid of any real sense of excitement up until the point where the Huntress gets her hands on a gun.
I also have to say I was a bit disappointed by the scene where Oracle takes some time out of check in on her reclamation project, as while an effort is made to explain why she doesn't have him sent to prison, the simple fact of the matter is that Savant's mission strikes me as the kind of logic that would have you sending in a wolf to patrol the hen house. Still, perhaps her time playing with the cast members of Suicide Squad has given her a willingness to trust the people that would be sharpening the knife they planned on sticking in your back, while you were busy explaining how they were going to help you prevent World War III. Still, the real reason why I'd recommend this issue is the final third where Gail Simone suddenly cranks the dial up to eleven.
Ed Benes is an artist who seems to know what this book's target audience is looking for, as why deliver a normal talking heads sequence, when one can plant the readers down at waist level so that the characters rear ends are the central focus of the panel. The same goes for the numerous shots where the characters are forever arcing their backs so that their balloon sized chests are front and centre. I guess this is what the readers are looking for, but frankly it's a little too deliberate for my tastes. Still, the wonderfully moody Greg Land cover is quite impressive, and Barbara's situation is vividly conveyed by the art.
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