- Posted by Johanna on March 21, 2008 at 2:45 pm
- Category: Superhero Reviews
- PUBLISHER: DC Comics
I don’t know who writer Matthew Sturges is or what he’s done before (his bio is both out-of-date and remarkably vacant), but he’s making me miss Bill Willingham. Given that I find BW’s writing creepily conservative and anti-woman, that’s an accomplishment.
I’m looking at the latest issue of Shadowpact, a comic with an intriguing group of mystical grumpy characters that have been wasted in what is likely next on DC’s chopping block.
I’ve been a Blue Devil fan since the first issue of his series back in 1984. I learned to my regret that sometimes it’s better a character you love stay unpublished than return out-of-character in something like Underworld Unleashed. (When the biggest selling point for a crossover event is “hey, our printer discovered how to use a fifth color ink on their presses, so we’ve made our logo a disgusting shade of chartreuse!”, run.) I don’t even know how he came back from his death in the throwaway Starman #38.
Anyway, he’s been a member of this team since the beginning, although it’s not the hard-working, normal-guy-in-abnormal-circumstances Dan Cassidy I loved. This issue, it appears that someone, whether new writer or editorial influence, is forcibly jerking the team and series in a new direction. And BD’s the biggest casualty.
He’s been off-screen putting himself through thirteen labors in a bid to win freedom from having his soul sold by his brother to the devil. (I didn’t know someone else could make that deal for you.) There’s two pages of a dumb translation joke, then a lot of plot shortcutting. Apparently labors 7-13 aren’t worth talking about, then there’s a trial in hell (more entertaining when the Monkees did it over a harp), won by fiat.
The result is (and here’s where the real spoilers come in) — Danny’s no longer Blue Devil. He’s just a regular human. One on the one hand, that’s a nice rescue from a DCU that has little place left for non-traditional heroes and comics. On the other, I’m still sad to see him go … especially since it was so anti-climactic. On the same page his teammates find out about this, the Phantom Stranger appears to exposition the group into yet another battle … this time with two teams of characters no one knows or cares about.
So, am I the only one who’s going to miss Blue Devil? Did you think he was treated properly here?