Final Crisis Aftermath: Dance #5
Dance continues to be a pleasant surprise, though one that is running a bit too long. The first three issues did little besides establish a status quo – one that was reinforced time and time again throughout. #4 picked it up again, however, and #5 continues to show some signs of improvement as we race towards the finish line, including the book’s most well-constructed fight-scene as the team confronts Rising Sun and a great teaser for the next issue. A fun read from start to finish, the issue was also helped by yet another replacement artist – Eduardo Pansica. Pansica manages to keep the energetic cartoonishness of ChrisCross without sacrificing his own style, which is a bit more crisp than ChrisCross’. One of the book’s strongest issues.
Immortal Weapons #3
Last month’s Immortal Weapons one-shot focusing on the Bride of Nine Spiders was disappointing enough to have me rethinking my commitment to the series. After all, with a revolving team of creators and no linking idea or theme beyond the back-up feature, not only was there no guarantee of quality, there was no way to know at all what you’d be getting. This issue proved that point, though for the better: though Aaron’s “Fat Cobra” story was slightly stronger, Spears brings an unpredictable, emotional issue that manages to flesh out the mysterious Dog Brother #1 amidst the ravages of the Opium Wars. The story is quick and tragic, expertly illustrated and quite memorable.
Faring less well is Foreman’s replacement on the Immortal Iron Fist back-up feature, Hatuey Diaz. Diaz’s style is extremely exaggerated and cartoonish, which is a rather sudden break from not only Foreman’s crisper style, but also any of the other artists working on the mini. There may be many books to which Diaz is suited, but his action scenes – one of the things that Immortal Iron Fist has rightfully become recognized for – are static and a bit sloppy. The Immortal Iron Fist back-up is hardly the strongest thing about the mini, at least when placed against this month’s “Urban Legend” or the stellar “The Book of the Cobra”, but, as brief as it is, it should at least be consistent. Swierczynski’s story, potentially gripping though it may be, moves along slowly, and Diaz slows the book’s momentum down significantly.
– Cal Cleary