Last issue, The Phantom Reporter had deduced which of his fellow time-lost heroes had secretly masterminded the death of fellow hero, Blue Blade. The crazy part is that the person responsible didn’t even realize they had done so. They didn’t even know who or what they really were! It turns out Dynamic Man is an android, built by a scientist who aimed to erase any that he deemed impure. When The Fiery Mask burned away Dynamic Man’s clothing, the assembled heroes were startled to discover that he had no genitalia! It seems that his creator viewed sexuality to be “impure” and therefore made it so that his creation could never be corrupted in that way. During their hibernation, the automaton Electro sought out a kindred spirit to bond with and linked up to Dynamic Man because he too was an artificial being. Dynamic Man subconsciously sent Electro to massacre an entire gay bar full of patrons after one man there had made a pass at him. But even Dynamic Man didn’t recall this.
But once he is revealed to the group, he vows to kill them all… and since he is their mightiest member and many of the others don’t even have super powers, things look bad for the rest. Captain Wonder is their first line of defense, with the others chipping in where there can, even if it’s just firing regular guns at him. Rock Man snaps out of his stupor and sends Dynamic Man flying through a brick wall, but he recovers quickly and destroys their entire estate! One member sacrifices them-self to save the others. The Pantom Reporter, Captain Wonder, Fiery Mask and Mastermind Excello pursue Dynamic Man back to the laboratory where he was created.
Dynamic Man uses a dynamo to immobilize Captain Wonder, but Excello assaults him on the astral plane. Phantom Reporter attempts to execute him but fails. Fiery Mask manages to free Captain Wonder before being mortally wounded by Dynamic Man. Before he dies, he passes his fiery abilities on to the Phantom Reporter. Together, with Captain Wonder, The Reporter is finally able to defeat Dynamic Man, but with a cost.
The group gathers to say farewell to their fallen, however one of them might not be as dead as they thought. The Phantom Reporter pays a tribute to Fiery Mask as they depart. So it looks like next issue will be reserved for determining which directions their lives take from here.
This is a very satisfying series and the conclusion comes with several paying the price, but in a believable way that suits the story. In fact in regard the characters that died this issue, you almost feel they are better off now.
Chris Weston’s detailed art, with excellent facial expressions, continues to deliver this issue. It’s solid from start to finish.
I’m worried that after the next issue, that these characters will once more be packed away in mothballs for a few more decades. It’s too bad! I’d love to see more from these characters, but if they aren’t handled as expertly as they have been in this miniseries, they are better off retired.
THE TWELVE #11
Written by J. Michael Straczynski
Art by Chris Weston
Cover by Paolo Rivera