Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Twelve #10 (of 12)

Gad, another issue of The Twelve already? More than three years between issues 8 and 9, and now a new one in less than a month!

Not that I'm complaining - especially since this issue brings together all the (surviving) members of the team for what may be the first time since the first issue, though it's hard to remember that far back. (OK, I'll drop the "overdue" comments.)

They're gathered together in the classic "get all the suspects together in one room" bit, so the Phantom Reporter can solve a murder mystery.

What's that, you say - you didn't know there was a murder mystery involved? None of us did, especially since we saw the robot Electro commit the crime.

But the question to be answered is, who was controlling the robot?

The answer - and the revelations that follow - are pretty shocking. Writer J. Michael Straczynski has done a great job of fleshing out these two-dimensional characters from the Golden Age of comics, and the story just keeps getting more interesting as it draws closer to its conclusion.

Matching the great writing is the fantastic art by Chris Weston. His work is confident and clear - his style is unique, but it's realistic, falling somewhere between Neal Adams and George Perez. Each character is distinctive, the emotions are clearly depicted, the action scenes are fantastic, and the backgrounds are lush - amazing work!

Of course, fans of these characters may not appreciate how they've been updated and their true origins revealed, especially since most of the heroes have been shown to have feet of clay.

It doesn't bother me, since I'd never read any of their adventures before (the Golden Age being before my time). If you're one of those fans, you should probably avoid this book - but for the rest of us, this is one of Marvel's best limited series in far too long.

Highly recommended!

Grade: A-


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