"Today We Choose Faces"
Writers: John Byrne, Will Pfeifer
Artists: John Byrne(p), Nekros(i), Alex Bleyaert(c)
John Byrne's latest issue of Blood of the Demon isn't artistically his best, but the story generates excitement and a sense of fun.
Some of Will Pfeifer's fans have objected to my overlooking his contribution to the book. In these reviews, I'm not trying to snub Pfeifer. I have nothing against Will Pfeifer, and I'm fairly unfamiliar with his writing. If I don't mention Pfeifer, it's because I don't know what exactly he contributes to the book. He's listed as scripter, but everything in Blood of Demon has Byrne's thumbprint.
My first thought was that Pfeifer was positioned on Blood of the Demon to keep Byrne in line with continuity, but that hasn't proven the case, and thank the cosmos nobody has reined in Mr. Byrne. The big three are in this story, but not one hint of off her rocker Jean Loring or the OMAC robots raise their ugly heads. Mind wiping and Maxwell Lord's trepanning of the Blue Beetle receive no mention. Even Gotham City continuity gets shelved. Batman is once again a vigilante--for all the wrong reasons as usual--and Byrne gives all these concerns as much weight as they deserve.
None at all.
The story opens with Sandra Kinkaid of Gotham PD entering Jason Blood only to find three of "the world's greatest super-heroes." Throughout the issue, they behave that way. They treat each others as colleagues, as friends dedicated to saving lives and fighting injustice. This is how it should be, and why Blood of the Demon makes so much sense and appeals to a section of comic book fandom who has burned too many times by Big Stupid Events.
In good spirits, the Leaguers smartly battle a possessed Etrigan and dope out the means to free him. Even asides however ripple with proper characterization borne out of the history of the characters and not dimwitted plot twists. Batman merely looks bemused as certain doom falls his way. That calm is due to his "matchless knowledge" of the city. Superman spears through debris before it can do any harm. Wonder Woman kicks Morgan Le Fey's withered hide, and Etrigan delivers the coup de grace. What more can you want from a comic book than this?
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