Crime Syndicate #3 – Andy Schmidt, Writer; Kieran McCowan, Penciller; Dexter Vines, Inker; Bryan Hitch, Backup Artist; Steve Oliff, Alex Sinclair, Colorists
Ray – 7.5/10
Ray: The Starro invasion has pushed the Earth-3 counterparts to their limit, and this issue delivers several interesting twists as they battle to keep the alien invaders from converting Earth into their personal army. While none of the leads are particularly compelling yet, Andy Schmidt doesn’t really let us dwell on that as there’s too much going on to slow down. With a giant kaiju-sized monster bearing down on the city, the “heroes” find some unconventional ways to fight back and even get inside the creature to try to find its weak spot. It gets bloody and gross at times, and really, I wouldn’t expect anything else from Earth 3.
The introduction of other faces in this world add some new wrinkles, particularly the new version of Alexander Luthor. Here a no-nonsense black man who tries to keep order in the city and protect civilian lives even as the maniac Crime Syndicate happily tears it apart mid-battle, he reminds me a bit of Captain Luthor from the TV show Superman and Lois. He makes a good contrast to the leads, as we can see elements of the original Luthor in him—his pragmatism and intelligence, but it’s twisted in the direction of good. We might also be seeing some other familiar faces next issue, if the cliffhanger is any indication.
I continue to enjoy the backups as well, with Bryan Hitch illustrating origin stories for each of the Crime Syndicate. This time it’s Donna, aka Superwoman’s turn in the spotlight. Her story has a lot in common with Diana’s, right down to her struggle to please her mother and her first encounter with a charming airman who crashes on the island. But everyone’s a bit… bent in this world, so the whole story culminates in a dark showdown at the Queen’s chambers that shows just how far these characters will go. This one packs a lot of story into only a few pages.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.