Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Justice League of America's Vibe #2

"Why Me?"

Geoff Johns and Andrew Kreisberg Writers
Pete Woods and Andres Guinaldo Pencils
Sean Parsons, Pete Woods and Bit Inkers
Hi-Fi Colors
Carlos M. Mangual Letters
Kate Stewart Assistant Editor
Brian Cunningham Senior Editor

The cover is by David Finch and Sonia Oback. I have two major problems with this cover: 1) Finch and Oback did not work on a single page inside this comic, and 2) Vibe does not fight a single parademon or see Darkseid in this issue. That happened last issue, but not here. These two problems are too big for me to begin to appreciate the overall quality of this cover. Sadly, this cover signals the harsh drop this title is going to take after having a pretty strong debut.

Our story picks up in Detroit, Michigan, where a new alien has shown up, or as ARGUS calls it, an inter-dimensional breacher. The alien attempts to communicate with a few people, but no one can understand it.

Meanwhile, Dante is being a good big brother by making fun of Cisco's codename Vibe and his ridiculous outfit. He also repeatedly warns his little brother that he's going to get killed on one of his missions. We're given a quick glimpse into Cisco's bedroom, and see that he has a poster of the Flash hanging on his wall.

Vibe's first adventure in his new outfit is to stop a mugger, but it turned out just to be a little boy stealing some candy. Vibe's pretty embarrassed by this, but Dante cheers him up. Later, ARGUS brings in Vibe to track down the new alien. It appears to be friendly, and gives Vibe a scroll. ARGUS agents kill the alien and tell Vibe the scroll was a declaration of war, but it really was just a letter for a girl named Gypsy, who is being held by Amanda Waller in a place called The Circus.

The next day, Vibe gets to go to the headquarters of the Justice League of America in Washington, D.C. He appears at a press conference with Stargirl, Katanna, Martian Manhunter and Hawkman. Steve Trevor worries about how the boy will fit in with the team, but Waller is eager to put him through a test run to see how he reacts to the Speed Force. Of course, Vibe's not ready for the Flash, yet, but Waller thinks he can handle Kid Flash.

The Good:

Honestly, I've got nothing. I still think Vibe has a lot of great potential, and I loved seeing Cisco's family dynamic, but this issue disappointed me too much to see much good in it. There were lots of good ideas here, just the execution was poor.

The Bad:

Too many inconsistencies. This is what happens when you have two writer and two artists. The first big problem was Vibe stopping the shoplifting kid. This was already shown in Justice League of America #1, and they decided to expand on that scene a little bit, which is fine, as long as you don't change what's already happened. Here, the kid looked completely different, and was taking off with five candy bars, instead of the one that was previously shown. Plus, the dialogue in this issue said the boy only took one candy bar, so why was he drawn with five? A little thing, I know, but these little things add up. Another big problem with this issue was the timing. We start at night with the alien arriving, then switch to day with Vibe showing Dante his new suit. He then hears the shopkeeper calling for help, and since that scene was already shown to take place at night, it suddenly becomes night. Immediately after that, ARGUS reminds him he has to meet the JLA tomorrow. But then tomorrow comes, and Cisco is with his family during the day, and fighting the alien at night. And then, a caption says 24 hours later, and we see Vibe in Washington, D.C. So that tomorrow ended up being two or three days later? I don't mean to say that these problems completely ruined the issue for me, but they are illustrative of how disjointed it felt in the writing and the art. Some scenes looked great, some ... not so much. And why was Kid Flash drawn ambiguously to look like the Flash at the end? There's a big caption right there screaming Kid Flash!

Little to no Flash. We do actually see two images of the Flash here, the poster and a picture that Amanda Waller is holding for some reason. I guess they were worried that readers wouldn't know what the Flash looked like. I don't think anyone needed that. I did like to see that Cisco is a fan of the Flash, which would be a very interesting dynamic if these two ever had to fight. But ultimately, Flash fans can skip this issue and not miss anything. If you read Vibe #1 and JLA #1, you'll have a good enough idea of who Vibe is and what his relationship to Flash is.

Final score: 3 out of 10

Next: Kid Flash

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