Since Issue one, Adam Glass has built up the overarching villain of The Other as the big bad of the series. In the latest issue, we got a reveal as to who it is and what their goals are.
As an issue, Glass focused on Roundhouse and Damien as the protagonists. In Damien’s case, we see his ties to The Other and how his decision will impact the series going forward. In Roundhouses case, we see him break out of prison and mull over whether or not he can be redeemed and continue on as a member of the team after betraying the team for one issue, resulting in his being chained up. The pages focused on Roundhouse gave us emotional moment between him and his mother as she convinces him to save his friends. In the past few issues, Glass made it a point to highlight Damien’s involvement in Roundhouses powers and the death of his sister. This issue however, gave us Roundhouse looking to the future and his mom focusing on how he was in the past. She mentions him having friends and being upbeat as a kid, which makes the character reflect more on his actions. After a heart to heart moment, we get the last page that showcases Roundhouse being back to his somewhat narcissistic and happy demeanor.
Focusing on Roundhouse and Damien, we got very little character development from Damien when compared to Roundhouse in the issue. As a character, Glass focuses more on Damien as someone to take up a mantle and side with his mother and her beliefs. As a focus, I expect to see Glass focus more on Damien in the next issue as he decides whether to be more like his mom or side with Batman and his beliefs. The results of this arc should impact Damien’s character in DC series going forward.
From a written standpoint, this issue brought forth a lot of character development that fit within the world, and helped the series grow. The downside to the writing in this issue was the minimal amount of Lobo’s effect on Crush. Instead of multiple issues and dealing with the events caused by Luthor, we had one issue dealing with Crush being controlled, and then she gets tossed aside to The Other and Lobo leaves, because his job was done. Thanks to Lobo’s newfound powers, I was expecting him to take Crush with him, and then have the team save her after defeating The Other. Instead, she is forced to rejoin her team and Lobo leaves. This felt anticlimactic as the events of Justice League and Batman Superman appeared to be more impactful to other storylines, such as Supergirl. As a series, I’m not a fan of making an important development happen, just to get the team captured. All Lobo was there for was getting Crush to help him bring the team to The Other, past that, Luthor helping Lobo meant nothing.
Overall, the art in this issue was standard and had average moments, but since it lacked in action, most of the issues artistic elements were a house, a dungeon and people being tied up. We didn’t get too many wide shots, as most of the action and character moments were small, close up panels. The story however did progress the plot somewhat and bring more redemption to Roundhouse as a character. What it lacked though was more impact in the art and emotional moments. We also got a wasted previous chapter and Lobo cameo, as Crush being controlled was made as a deus ex machina of sorts. As an issue, this was a fun installment and worth picking up, but it has some weaker storytelling elements compared to previous issues.