"Lawton's Last Stand"
Writer: Christos N. Gage
Artists: Steven Cummings (p), Jimmy Palmiotti (i)
Publisher: DC Comics
Plot: When Deadshot gets warned that a super-powered army has been assembled to come against him, he uses the time he has left to enjoy the domestic life that he's stumbled his way into. He then slips away in the night to confront his enemies and what follows is a pretty heated battle that has Deadshot proving the theory that the most dangerous animal is one that feels trapped. In the aftermath of the battle, it looks like Deadshot was killed in an explosion, but the reports of his death are clearly greatly exaggerated.
Comments: While this issue is an pretty well done bit of action, the simple fact of the matter is that it never quite managed to sell the illusion that Deadshot was in any danger of losing this fight thanks largely to the fact that almost all of his opponents were new creations, or were so low down the super-villain ladder that one could easily accept the idea that they could be knocked off and no one would miss them. Now I will concede that Christos N. Gage does a pretty impressive job of showing readers that Deadshot is a very capable fighter, and some of the steps that Deadshot employs to take down his attackers were really quite clever. However, I can't help but feel that this issue would've been far more engaging if Deadshot's attackers had been established DCU villains, as while he couldn't employ lethal attacks, the final outcome of the battle wouldn't have been quite so obvious. Still the issue does manage to sell well the idea that Deadshot was reluctant to give up the happy life that he had found for himself. The emotional impact of the sequence where he slips out of the apartment to confront his enemies was very nicely done. The battle itself also played host to several clever bits as the attack that Deadshot uses to disarm Javelin was a perfect Deadshot moment, as was his response to the scene where it looks like the villains have managed to get themselves a valuable hostage. The final moments of this issue also nicely move all the pieces back into place, as it pretty much leaves Deadshot exactly where he was when this miniseries began, while also deftly tying off the loose ends that this miniseries introduced.
Steven Cummings has done a pretty decent job on this miniseries, as while the art hasn't really offered anything visually that I would label jaw-dropping, he does a solid job of keeping the story easy to follow, and this issue he's called upon to deliver the big final battle between Deadshot and a small army of super-villains, and he does a pretty effective job of selling the various steps that Deadshot took to earn his victory. The issue also provides some shocking moments during the battle, as I have to confess the scene where Deadshot kills the hostage caught me completely off guard, as did the scene where he deals with the vampire. In fact, the art compellingly conveys the sheer brutally of Deadshot's attacks without getting overly graphic in its presentation, and this is a pretty difficult balancing act for an artist to pull off. We also get yet another fine looking cover from Mike Zeck, who perfectly captures the sense of danger that Deadshot faces inside the issue.
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