I really feel that DC is downplaying the importance of this book. They certainly aren’t promoting it… like at all. But it just seems to tie into so many greater aspects of the New 52 universe(s) as well as possible upcoming events that have been hinted at.
In this issue, we get a welcome excursion to Nilaa, better known as Gemworld, the setting of the dearly departed ‘Sword of Sorcery’ series, featuring a revival of the 80s ‘Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld’ concept. Princess Amaya is here and she mentions her brief allegiance with Justice League Dark.
Lead character Cisco Ramon, a.k.a. Vibe’s powers are based on dimensional energy and he gets more clarification this issue, after drifting through a sort of Nexus between the different worlds. There’s a glimpse of Earth 2, and there’s one cryptic bubble that reads “Dreams are among us once more”… that can’t mean what I think it means, can it?
Another bubble reads “The Justice League is dead” which mirrors the events of ‘Forever Evil‘ but… this story HAS to take place either before or after that. Vibe was with the Justice League when they were “killed.” He should be with them at that point in time.
Ultimately, Cisco may have found some new allies that can help him deal with his still-mysterious super powers… or new enemies.
Like I said, it feels like this book is part of a much larger story, yet no one really talks about it. I highly doubt its selling that well, even though it’s extremely well-written by the always reliable Sterling Gates. Grant Morrison’s “Multiversity” project keeps popping up in conversations. (Although who knows when that will actually happen, if ever?)
But on top of all the large, multidimensional goings-on, Gates also manages to bring a grounded sense of heart and sympathy to the lead character, which adds a nice grounding quality.
The art by Andres Guinaldo is decent. It’s not my favorite art ever. The Gemworld sequence looks the best. Two inkers are listed, so maybe one handled that portion and the other the rest? It’s a little inconsistent, but it’s never bad. It’s good, solid artwork, it just doesn’t jump off the page or blow my mind.
Vibe was a character no one really wanted to see in his own comic book. I’m not sure why DC even thought to bring him back. (He was dead prior to the New 52 relaunch.) But this book isn’t bad at all. It’s nicely written and drawn and seems to be building to something greater… or at least helping to build to something greater. But it says something that it’s outlived ‘Sword of Sorcery’ which I thought was brilliant! Obviously, DC has a reason to keep it afloat.
Written by Sterling Gates
Pencils by Andres Guinaldo
Cover by Brett Booth, Mark Irwin and Andrew Dalhouse