"Siege at Century Hollow"
Writers: Grant Morrison
Art: Cameron Stewart
Colors: Moose Baumann
Letters: Pat Brosseau
Publisher: D.C. Comics
$2.99 U.S. / $4.00 CAN
As a robot populated exhibit that is supposed to represent the global village goes haywire, we see the Guardian is sent in to rescue the tourists who are trapped inside this exhibit with these killer robots. As the Guardian smashes his way through an army of malfunctioning robots, we see the source of this attack ends up being the result of a marital conflict, and we see that this conflict mirrors the Guardian's own relationship difficulties, as his new job has seriously damaged his personal life.
The idea of a robot populated amusement park gone mad isn't exactly a new idea, but Grant Morrison managed to catch my attention in the early going of this issue as he takes the concept of having the entire planet's population represented by 100 robots to it's most literal extension, and I have to say some of the numbers that were rattled off in the opening pages of this issue were actually quite eye-opening, especially the ones dealing with the distribution of wealth on the planet. However, after this promising start Grant Morrison simply transforms the entire collection of 100 robots into the standardized killer robots on a rampage, and the Guardian's role in this adventure is reduced to the highly simplistic role of bashing the heads of these robots in with his shield. Now perhaps there is some greater message at play in these pages that I'm simply not grasping, but I have to say I was a little disappointed that the story started out of the gate with such promise, and than it does nothing with it from a writing standpoint, though I have to say I did smile during the scene where the old man gives his blunt assessment on the great wonders that the world has to offer. I also enjoyed the final scene where we see the scientist responsible for this robot rampage makes a transparent attempt at manufacturing a group of fictional terrorists that were responsible. This issue also manages to offer up a wonderful secondary plot as we see the Guardian flashes back on the collapse of his relationship, and Grant Morrison deserves full marks for his presentation of a relationship in crisis, as the scene where they discuss his new job at the restaurant is brutally honest scene where it's quite easy to understand both of the opposing positions that have been taken, which in my mind is the best type of argument from a reader's standpoint. In the end it was a shame that the main action took such a conventional path, as Grant Morrison is a talented enough writer that he could've turned in something far more impressive.
While Grant Morrison didn't really do much with the global village concept after the opening introduction to the idea, Cameron Stewart gets to spend the entire issue playing with the idea, starting with a very funny cover as we see the Guardian doing battle with an army of global representatives. In fact part of the fun that I had with this issue was to spend my time trying to figure out what part of the world each robot was supposed to represent, and hwo can one not smile when we see the Guardian wandered into the European section of the exhibit, though I have to say it did strike me as a little strange that England was given two robots, if the 100 robots were supposed to reflect the global population. I also found myself engaged in a seemingly fruitless search for the Canadian representative but the America village made me smile. The art also does a nice job of playing up the emotions during the flashback scenes, as the power of the final scene has that extra punch when we see what happened to the engagement ring.
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