The Question #37 continues the trend of disappointing Blackest Night tie-ins that aren’t so much bad as they are incomplete. Teaming up Denny O’Neil, renowned Batman-family scribe and writer behind The Question’s longest-running solo title, and Greg Rucka, the writer who shepherded Vic Sage to his ultimate fate and has written his legacy ever since, was a brilliant idea at heart, allowing the two eras of the Question to be reconciled a little more fully. Unfortunately, given a full issue to work with, O’Neil and Rucka, working with art team Cowan and Sienkiewicz, end up turning in what feels like half a story.
Cowan and Sienkiewicz turn in atmospheric art that works well in the build-up, but slows the action down a bit too much. The three-way fight between these gifted martial artists (or the preceding one-on-one fight) should not be quite as static as it is, and while Cowan and Sienkiewicz have the bleak, oppressive “Blackest Night” feel down pat, they don’t quite manage to balance it with the actual content of the book.
Ultimately, The Question #37 feels more like the beginning of a very traditional arc. The creative team is extremely comfortable with it, and it shows as the issue is quite polished, a smooth, quick read that builds off pre-established relationships without too much exposition. Finishing the issue, however, just leaves you with a vague emptiness. Reviving beloved fan-favorite titles from cancellation was a brilliant marketing concept, but a one-issue round of fisticuffs just doesn’t satisfy the same niche that these books did when they were alive. Just like the Black Lanterns they came back with, this latest month of tie-ins has all the trappings of the beloved titles, but lacks heart.
– Cal Cleary