Wait, what’s this? Tom King wrote a maxi-series featuring various characters from DC’s old First Issue Special series? And it’s Black Label? OK, this has my attention.
Issue: Danger Street #1, December 2022
Writer: Tom King
Artist: Jorge Fornés
The Plot: Metamorpho, Starman, and Warlord try to impress the Justice League, and it all goes very badly.
Commentary: As narrated by Dr. Fate’s helmet, this first issue introduces a number of characters who may or may not have much to do with each other. One the one hand, Jack Ryder is auditioning for a new, national job with a group of characters I probably should have written a “Misplaced Characters” column on at some point sooner or later. Whatever it is casts the latter group, whom I am not naming since they appeared so late in the issue, in a more sinister light than they’re usually depicted in. But what if anything those guys will do with or without the Creeper’s alter ego, I can’t say as they don’t do a whole lot.
No, most of the plot has Metamorpho, the alien Starman, and Travis “Warlord” Morgan getting their hands on Fate’s helmet and deciding to use it to summon Darkseid, defeat him, and then get invited to join the Justice League. How these three think they can take down Darkseid, I can’t say. Warlord is just a guy with a sword. I don’t think Starman’s powers are particularly impressive. Metamorpho is a big maybe if Darkseid is drunk or something. But these three bozos have this idea, and I don’t quite know if King is writing them as idiots on purpose or if they have a legitimate shot at taking down Darkseid. Granted, Darkseid never actually appears in this issue, instead giving time to other “First Issue” characters like the Dingbats and Lady Cop.
No, I don’t know much about either the Dingbats or Lady Cop. But if the Dingbats were created by Jack Kirby, I wouldn’t be surprised. They look a lot like the sort of Kirby-created group of boys with personalities based entirely off one characteristic that can be physical and is probably summed up by whatever nickname the group refers to him as. And if it wasn’t Kirby, I would likewise be unsurprised if it was his Captain America co-creator Joe Simon.
Anyway, this being Black Label, things go very, very wrong for the trio in the desert, and it all starts when they summon something that is most decidedly NOT Darkseid.
Yeah, this looks like it could go either completely crazy with too many characters and an odd structure, or it might actually be a good read. I generally like King’s work, and Jorge Fornés’s artwork fits the mood of the book. I’ll at least check out the next issue.
Weekend Trek “Ship In A Bottle”
Vikings: Valhalla “Pieces Of The Gods”
Noteworthy Issues: The Amazing Spider-Man #52 (September, 1967)