Review – Danger Street #9: A Game of Swords

Comic Books DC This Week
Danger Street #9 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Danger Street #9 – Tom King, Writer; Jorge Fornes, Artist; Dave Stewart, Colorist

Ray – 10/10

Ray: So far, Danger Street has been a series both defined by and held back by its sheer ambition. With a cast of over 20 heroes, villains, and antiheroes from across the multiverse involved in a conspiracy ranging from local crime to a battle between ancient worlds, it’s always felt sprawling and a little overwhelming. Which is why this issue, before the final act—a two-character spotlight taking place entirely on a single rooftop, is so brilliant in its simplicity. The Manhunter has been a key player through the series, hunting down members of the Green Team and dispatching them one by one. The Commodore is one of the only survivors, and he’s not taking any chances—hiring the ruthless Codename: Assassin as his bodyguard. The two killers meet, and what begins as a sword fight between the two transforms into something else—something resembling a stage play laying the nature of life and death bare.

Rules of the game. Via DC Comics.

Amid a brilliantly stripped-down issue where every page has the same panel layout, the two engage in a lengthy battle of swordplay, but the dialogue never stops. Manhunter tries to unravel Codename: Assassin’s loyalty to his charge, arguing that he’ll die for nothing. Codename: Assassin tries to unbalance his opponent by reminding him that he doesn’t have to survive to win. The two parlay, there are twists involving the abilities of one of the parties, and it all builds to a brutal and incredibly tense finish that takes the two of them beyond their limits and beyond the world, with a fascinatingly ambiguous ending that leaves at least one major character’s fate in the air. We’ll have to wait until next month to see who’s left standing, but what isn’t in question is that when all is said and done, this will be the one issue of the series that everyone remembers as the standout.

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

GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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