"Odd Couples: First Thunder"
Writer: Judd Winick
Artist: Joshua Middleton
Publisher: DC Comics
Plot: Dr. Sivana meets with Lex Luthor to reluctantly seek his assistance in dealing with Captain Marvel. Luthor lends Sivana an operative named Spec, who over the next two weeks stalks Captain Marvel as he patrols the city. Later, Superman and Captain Marvel team-up to take on the demons summoned by the group that has been robbing museums of Russian artifacts in both Metropolis and Fawcett City. Afterwards, the two heroes have a chance to talk, but are interrupted by the creation of a new menace for Captain Marvel.
Commentary: In all honesty, I wouldn't mind if Judd Winick got a chance to write one of the ongoing Superman books sometime in the next few years. Between this story and the three-parter he wrote for the Superman titles proper, I have been nothing short of impressed at his handling of the character.
The reason I am enjoying this series so much is the ability for Winick to handle the characters and how they relate to each other. From the contempt Sivana and Luthor feel for one another to the talk between Captain Marvel and Superman, it is clear that Winick has put some thought into what makes these characters tick. He is doing a great job playing with how the characters first meeting went down. I especially liked the enthusiasm (or abundance of) that Captain Marvel felt towards meeting Superman and Superman's uneasiness regarding that adulation. The talk on Mount Everest was also handled well, and it was nice to have a quiet conversation between the two heroes as they "compared notes".
It is also neat to see how Winick weaves in and out of his sub-plots and manages to connect some dots from his Outsiders run as well. Eclipso didn't play a huge role in this issue, but the creation of Sabbac more than made up for that. This series is turning into something big. Not universe shaking big, but big in terms of the number of characters and complexity of the plot.
In The End: This scene between Luthor and Sivana absolutely made this issue for me. Loved it. Absolutely loved it and thought that Winick played it just right. Joshua Middleton's art continues to leave a lukewarm impression, but at the same time I don't have too much to complain about. I like it when a writer ties the various books they work on together and the introduction of Sabbac, which I should have seen coming, does just that.
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