"Devil May Care"
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Peter Snejbjerg
Publisher: DC Comics
Hey! Cool! We finally get Kid Devil's origin! Woo-hoo! What an incredibly, awesome….. let down. This was far from the kind of issue I was expecting to read. It is indeed possible for Geoff Johns to "phone one in" and write a story that is the true definition of what "by the numbers" means. This is the epitome of an under-whelming, oh-so-average story.
If I didn't know better, I'd be double checking the credits to make sure it was definitely written by Geoff Johns. The only praise I can give, and it's faint praise at that, is that you can tell that Johns is a big Blue Devil fan in how he tells Blue Devil's origin. Other than that, you can run down the list of what a writer wants to accomplish when it comes to doing a story. You can usually do that with any story if you pay close enough attention, but this time it's painfully obvious.
You see hero's life from beginning to end? Check.
Tragedy in the hero's life? Check.
Hero not taken seriously? Check.
Hero willing to do anything to prove everyone wrong? Check.
Hero makes a dumb decision? Check.
Hero learns how dumb the decision is? Check.
So on and so forth….
In this case, it's Eddie Bloomberg a.k.a. Kid Devil and that tragedy being the death of his aunt. A tragedy that looms large in his life later on. It's also a development that is telegraphed the moment you read it and is further telegraphed when Eddie literally makes a deal with the devil to get his powers. The devil in this case happens to be Neron. I guess Neron has a nice little thing going on in the underworld and is unleashing all the powers to whomever wants them, for a price of course. (You want powers? Call 1-800-YO-NERON. Call now! Operators are waiting!) The price for Eddie is to become Neron's protégé on his 20th birthday if, for some reason, Eddie loses trust in Blue Devil. (Gee, I wonder what will happen…..)
Suffice it to say, what leads up to Eddie losing all trust in Blue Devil is, to me at least, ridiculous. The thing is, Eddie should have seen right through it the moment it was happening. Blue Devil had a secret and, while terrible, it's not enough to destroy that kind of trust. As much as I'm usually loathe to say it, this is hack-writing at its worst. Way too pat and easy. Simply put, it was just an easy way out to give the character some angst in his life to make him more interesting I suppose.
One complaint I do not have is the artwork by Peter Snejbjerg. While he's not someone I would normally pick to do an issue of Teen Titans, he was the perfect choice for this type of story. If only he had a better story to draw though. As it is, Snejbjerg made this a more enjoyable experience than it might have been with a lesser fill-in artist. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing his interpretation of Blue Devil's origin and the way he depicted young Eddie's wild-eyed enthusiasm and excitement whenever he talked about or heard Blue Devil's name mentioned. Snejbjerg definitely deserves more regular DC work.
It's been a long time since I was this disappointed in a comic. Perhaps my expectations were too high, but the bar has been set very high for this series. Ah well, no one can hit a home run every single at bat.
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