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‘Danger Street: The Complete Series’ (review)

Volume 1 TPB: Danger Street #1-6
Volume 2 TPB: Danger Street #7-12
Written by Tom King
Art by Jorge Fornés
Published by DC Comics

 

After completing their time on the Rorschach limited series, the creative team of writer Tom King and artist Jorge Fornes jumped aboard this limited series.

It is a strange limited series for sure. They have decided to take all of the different characters from the DC 1st Issue Special series from way back when and make a story that connects them all.

To be clear, these are third rate characters that DC has had in their stable including the Dingbats of Danger Street, Lady Cop and The Creeper. Not exactly characters that everyone has been clamoring for.

Yet, the creative team really makes the whole thing work. One of the more annoying elements however that took me a while to trudge through was the narration of Doctor Fate’s helmet.

The helmet sort of told the story as though it was a fairy tale happening of sorts and I found it cloying and a bit tedious. Once you get past that, (it gets easier to understand as the series goes on) a real gem of a story starts to form.

We get to see Warlord, Metamorpho and Starman trying to summon Darkseid to Earth. They figure they can take Darkseid out to show the Justice League why they all deserve to be members. Yet, their plan backfires in a major way. They end up bringing a wrong creature to Earth and they also manage to wound a Dingbat of Danger Street in the process. I enjoyed watching just how fallible and plain wrong the “heroes” of the book acted.

From there, we get to see Jack Ryder aka The Creeper working for a news organization. Jack’s new bosses are kids basically who are the villains of the book. They dictate to Jack what news stories that he must cover. They also are making him lead more into covering stories about the mysterious Outsiders. Who are they? Are they villains? Do the Outsiders even exist? And are they planning to destroy the world as is is being hinted that they might? The answers start popping up quickly and they spin the story on its head repeatedly, while giving new directions that the story can explore. It is pretty brilliant to be honest.

The other major character trying to pull the whole thing together is Lady Cop. Lady Cop doesn’t like to be called that, but that is what people know her as. She is tough as nails and she is on the side of justice. She starts investigating everything that is happening. The story eventually pulls her into the orbit of Jack Ryder. Ryder asks her out to talk about the entire case. She makes it clear the event isn’t a date. It is a really funny scene in the story when the Creeper suddenly makes an appearance and Lady Cop has to take care of him.

Eventually, Jack Ryder’s now singular kid boss at the television station(read it to find out!) is making his moves and the whole cast of characters are involved in the possible end of everything. Characters die. There are characters that die that you don’t expect. It all ties together fairly well and the helmet of Doctor Fate has a key role in the happenings. There is a lot to be solved by the end but the creative team is luckily up to the task. They land everything perfectly and it becomes a story that we really haven’t seen before. And that in itself is a treat.

I love that these second tier kind of characters are at the forefront. Tom King said in an interview that he thought of this being kind of like the baseball film Bull Durham, where the minor league characters are always dreaming of playing in the majors. It never happens for them, but they get to dream. That’s the best way to look at this book. And it works.

Tom King is a writer who always pushes himself to try new things and writing experiments. He usually succeeds and definitely does so here. It is a strong script for sure and lands as one of his best. The artwork by Jorge Fornés is equally impressive too, and it goes into new territory for the artist.

All in all, this is a great book, one I look forward to reading and revisiting in the future.

RATING: A

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