Review – Crime Syndicate #1: Terror in the Stars

Comic Books DC This Week
Crime Syndicate #2 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Crime Syndicate #2 – Andy Schmidt, Writer; Kieran McKeown, Penciller; Dexter Vines, Inker; Bryan Hitch, Backup Artist; Steve Oliff, Alex Sinclair, Colorists

Ray – 7/10

Ray: Last issue, Andy Schmidt reintroduced us to a new version of the Crime Syndicate—the evil Earth-3 counterparts of the Justice League. These superpowered terrorists run their world with an iron fist, even having the President of the United States—an S&M-obsessed Oliver Queen—under their control. While some of them were more interesting than others, we didn’t have much time to get to know them before they wound up against something far bigger than their empire—a mass invasion of Starros from the sky as the mind-controlling aliens started latching on to people’s faces and building them into an army—including some members of the Crime Syndicate themselves.

Stars of evil. Via DC Comics.

We’ve seen Superman and Wonder Woman pitted against each other when one of them is mind-controlled before, and it’s not too different when it’s Ultraman and Superwoman—except they’re both nastier. Sure enough, the battle heads into space and they spend much of the issue punching each other, while Owlman and his Alfred try to figure out the origin of the Starros and what their weak point is. These two and John Stewart are the best part of the issue, as all of them seem like slightly askew versions of their real self. They don’t have the moral code, but the same cunning mind is there. Overall, though, this book lacks a compelling central protagonist like villain books really need.

The backup by Bryan Hitch gives us a better look at Owlman, as he interrogates the man responsible for his parents’ and brother’s death—Harvey Bullock. This twisted version of Bullock is very different, but he manages to give us an interesting amount of information on what truly happened to the Waynes and why. The backups have so far done a better job of getting me interested in the Syndicate than the main story.

To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.

GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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