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‘Electric Warriors #6’ (review)

Written by Steve Orlando
Illustrated by Travel Foreman
Published by DC Comics

“…Who the sprock is Lex Luthor?”

There’s not a great deal to say about this, the final issue of Steve Orlando’s futuristic DC universe mini-saga, because it turns out that once Lex Luthor and Superman have been separated from the Firestorm matrix, and each other, there’s relatively little that doesn’t feel a bit anti-climactic.

You have to admit, it was a pretty big reveal.

It’s not that nothing happens, mind you.

Ian Navarro, War Cry, does have the unenviable situation with his brother Oscar to contend with.

Lex Luthor himself does need to be definitively neutralized, lest he manage to reassert his dominion over Covenant, and the known worlds of the Universe itself.

And something needs to be done about what remains of the Great Compromise, along with its administration, however twisted, of intergalactic peace.

But this is only one issue, and that’s a lot to cover, especially because not just this series but this entire piece of new DC history needs a satisfactory resolution. And author Steve Orlando makes every effort to do so, while at the same time working hard to pepper the script with the sort of clever oblique political commentary that has been a hallmark of this series from the start. Tall order.

There is a sense of jumble as a result, or anyway, of pushing things through. I’m tempted to say that the series would have done well with another issue, but I’m not sure that would have made the difference. There are simply so many elements to the story that need to be balanced and woven together. It’s a juggling act. Some things just work better than others.

Something similar could be said for the art throughout this series, which is a little strange given the talent combo of Travel Foreman and Hi-Fi. But I think it’s fair to say that there was a fair amount of experimentation going on in this series, the results of which were mixed. At least the look of the books was consistent throughout.

As for our resolution this month, the action between War Cry and his brother Oscar is a clever extension of the running metaphor that our words can be weapons but can equally be used to heal and bring us together.

There’s no saving Luthor of course. Whatever humanity he may have once held to was gradually burned off after several hundred years wielding the super-powered fury of Firestorm to bend the intergalactic network of planets to his vision of control and unity via gladiatorial diplomacy.

But that unity remains. The need for it remains. It’s a clever twist at the end for a recovered Superman to retreat to his home at the center of the sun, leaving the governance of the intergalactic community to those who are best positioned to do so – the Electric Warriors themselves.

The seamless transition to a new, more populist and democratic form of intergalactic peace is maybe a bit simplistic given the circumstances. The overthrow of the Gild’sphan is somewhat perfunctory, their downfall almost a footnote. And the Electric Warriors of a thousand worlds seem remarkably well-suited to this new spirit of cooperative accord, given the realities that brought them all to the Wargrounds to begin with.

But there’s only so much space to get things to completion. And that ending serves a purpose.

It is undoubtedly strange to see the council of a new intergalactic governing body comprised of a Dominator, a Khund, a representative of the Animal-men of Kamandi’s future-Earth, and a young disaffected rabble rouser who once spit on the memory of Superman himself.

But however strange, however surprising, it’s the bridge we need to a future we have only ever hoped to see, through many long years now of new DC continuity.

Welcome to the federation of the New United Planets.

Their story has just begun.

Next Time: Their name is Legion. (Coming soon, to a comics publisher near you…)

 

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