This is what it’s all been building toward! In this issue, we finally learn who is responsible for Blue Blade’s death as well as the deaths of a bar full of gay men. Is it Electro, the automaton robot as was alluded to last issue? I’m not going to tell you! But it’s a pretty shocking twist!
‘The Twelve’ follows the modern day exploits of a dozen classic characters from Timely Comics’ Golden Age. Last issue, The Phantom Reporter hooked himself up to Electro’s control panel to learn who else had connected to it and collapsed. This issue, he wakes up and requests that the remaining eleven heroes, including Electro, gather at their mansion headquarters. He knows who is responsible, but won’t reveal who it is until they are all together again. It is, as Detective Rose states, “One of those classic drawing room confrontations? A regular Agatha Christie.”
The process is teased out with much tension and the requisite red herrings along the way. As the Phantom Reporters gets closer and closer to the truth, the suspense in the room increased to a boiling point! Ultimately, the person responsible doesn’t even realize their part in the killings. They don’t even realize that they don’t even know their true origin! But upon learning the truth, none of the other heroes may leave the room alive!
It’s been four years since this miniseries began, but even with just two new issues, the suspense is right back where it was to start with! It’s a thrilling murder mystery with a classic super hero slant. The culprit has been teased in the prior books, but the exact nature of the crimes is still a strange and unexpected twist.
There are a lot of characters here, but there are still several nice moments of development for a lot of them. Mister E, a.k.a. Victor Jay was born Victor Goldstein, but changed his name to avoid antisemitism. This angered his son Robert, a proud Jew. But after Victor’s wife has died, Robert seems to have let go of his anger and asks him to “come home” once his work with The Twelve is finished. The others get a line or two here and there that further flesh them out.
Chris Weston’s art continues to deliver, with excellent facial expressions and ace storytelling. There are a couple of flashbacks that are rendered in black and white, fittingly as a tribute to the Universal Studios version of ‘Frankenstein.’ Other flashbacks are rendered in washed out colors which also works very well.
The entire series has built to this point and the denouement doesn’t fail to deliver! I’m not sure where the last two issues will go, but this is a perfectly satisfying climax!
THE TWELVE #10
Written by J. Michael Straczynski
Art by Chris Weston