Hey, Keith! It's me, Lewis, the guy with the fedora you met back in October at Minnesota's FallCon. You know, the one with the crappy-drawn webcomic? ^_~(WARNING: SPOILERS!)Anyway, as promised, I picked up Arena #1. My thoughts? Well, I admit I had higher expectations of it after talking with you at the Con, but at least it was enough to pick me up. First of all, you clearly have a good grasp over characterization for most of these, especially since a lot of them are being shown for the first time. On that note, I was severely disappointed that Monarch chose to murder a good number of them right out of the starting gate. I mean, what was really the point of recruiting them in the first place if he's just going to murder so many of them? He didn't need to do that to capture their attention.The radiation was a cute idea to convince them to start fighting. I was wondering how you were going to convince a lot of these characters to fight when really they have no reason to trust Monarch or do anything he says. On that note, it's good to see that the heroes at least tried to work together before one of their more evil counterparts began the fight. What universe is the Shade from? I expect Eve of Shadows is from the mystic Earth and Nightshade from Earth-4, but of course I can't be certain (though I suspect the Shade's from Earth-3). On that note, just what the hell are the Shade's little chompy darkness things supposed to be?!Also, I'm a little confused about some more of Monarch's murderous ways. It's clear from both our conversation and from what's being written that he doesn't see himself as malevolent nor evil, but then again he's not acting very justly, and at least not at all like the Captain Atom we all know and love. Could there be someone else in that armor who switched places with him?Anyway, his next murders take place on Eve of Shadow's earth, wiping out a whole country. Seems a bit extreme just for that, especially seeing as he must've expected some of them to make an escape attempt. Also, why waste potential soldiers? If all of them end up dying or choosing not to become part of his army, he could always have recruited Brigadier Atom from Eve of Shadow's earth. Moving right along, it's nice to see the Supermen and Batmen step up and use their heads, even if the Commie Superman and the DKR Superman aren't exactly starting off on good terms. Still, highly-evolved Superman I like. Oh, and by the by - blinding Vampire Batman? Awesome moment. I like when he gets hurt, he has some great lines. Seeing the two Batmen having mutual respect for one another was also great.So, with all of that in mind, what do I rate this? Well, admittedly I still seem flaws overall and I enjoyed it a bit more after a few reads. I'm hoping things will step up for the next few issues and I'll of course be picking them up, Keith. They're certainly not bad enough to make me warrant taking you up on your offer to pay back the copies, but I wouldn't say it's an excellent book. Enjoyable, though. 7/10, I'd say. Let's see what else you've got for us, Keith!
Thanks, Lewis! Keep with it. Now that the exposition/set up of #1 is out of the way, every issue gets better than the one before.In my humble opinion, anyway.
Hey Keith, LOVEd this issue and all but question...it's obvious that Eve of Shadows is part of the army...so was there a point for Monarch to bring back Earth 4 (I assume that's which it was) Shade, in pieces, back to the others?
Man, I really can't stand Monarch. However, since I think I am supposed to, that's a good thing.Fun, and well done.
Not to repeat others, I'll just say I definitely liked it, loved your writing, and I'm wondering about the possibility of the "potential victims" actually fighting back. I'm also thinking,and hoping, that the two Batmen are not dead. In Countdown: Gotham by Gaslight, Jason Todd is shown several times indicating that this is the earth and the Gotham where he really feels he belongs. I realize this could be a set-up for him becoming the Batman of that earth, but I'd rather see him end up there with the Gotham by Gaslight Batman...the two of them as a team.
Read it and thought it was great, Keith! Best Countdown anything so far. Plus it's giving me a reason to publicly bash the whacked-out IGN Comics reviewers. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK.
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