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‘The Unexpected #4’ (review)

Written by Steve Orlando
Illustrated by Cary Nord, Wade Von Grawbadger
Published by DC Comics


Neon and I spent days being told what to do. I’m sick of it. You started this… it won’t break my heart to finish it!!!

… Girl fight!

Well anyway, a little bit.

But only four issues in and it’s appropriate to have Firebrand throw down in an obligatory super-hero mix-up.

Also appropriate to head back to Gotham, the site of Firebrand’s genesis, and the next best geographical reference point to the Dark Multiverse, all given the dramatic events of the Dark Knights story arc.

You’d think, that given that history, Huntress would come in a little less hot with our heroes, but no.

Given the alarming nature of the threat they carry, Helena Bertinelli seems far more prepared to solve that problem with domination rather than cooperation.

Also, appropriate. Steve Orlando loves his characters and he knows them well. For that same reason it’s more than sufficient for him to bring the Signal on scene to cool things down and move the story along. Batman-Schmatman. We’ve got all the spandex we need here to make our trip to Gotham colorful, and useful. And the Signal turns out to be quite useful indeed.

We’ve covered a lot of territory already in this series, and that’s necessary. This whole situation started because of brand new dynamics at play in the DCU, some of which we’re only just learning about, others of which we’ve been introduced to only just before that. So, there’s been a lot to uncover about this mystery of the nth metal isotope and its origin, and Orlando takes full opportunity of that set-up to spin out a well-crafted hero story that has our heroes ping-ponging between fantastic places and fantastic people, from one clue of the puzzle to another.

Doesn’t hurt to have a reality-annihilating urgency to the situation, and it doesn’t hurt to have a dark deity fueled by hunger and desperation hot on our heroes’ heels. Good thing they’ve got the powers of creation at hand.

All in all, there’s plenty in the mix to make for an excellent super-hero adventure. And all throughout, the story drives along.

Despite all the action, this book serves as a bit of a bridge from where we’ve been to where we’re going. There’s a lot of helpful explication in this issue, and by the end, our heroes – and we – have a much better idea of what we’re dealing with, and all the threats have been defined. Even if answers remain out of reach.

Time to move on to someone with a bit more expertise in all these matters. Good thing someone like that is out there in the DCU.

The culmination of this issue, brings all the threads together in a satisfying way, and I’m most enthusiastic for the team-up Orlando has prepared for us next time.

Not saying it won’t be without some contention mind you. But we’re getting to it now.

Next time: The Original Bird of Prey




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