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Mild Mannered Reviews - Specials

World War III: Book One

World War III - Book One: A Call to Arms

Scheduled to arrive in stores: April 18, 2007

Cover date: June 2007

"A Call to Arms"

Writer: Keith Champagne
Penciller: Pat Olliffe
Inker: Drew Geraci
Cover: Ethan Van Sciver and Moose Baumann

Reviewed by: Barry Freiman

Click to enlarge

On Week 45, Day 5, in Bialya, after Adam has slaughtered the nation, he's confronted by a small girl who is really J'onn J'onzz in disguise. They fight and Adam strikes J'onn with the magic lightning. Adam lets J'onn into his mind and lets him feel the thoughts of everyone Black Adam killed. J'onn is overwhelmed and retreats screaming into outer space.

Week 50, Day 1: Perry White stands on top of the Daily Planet roof praying for Superman. The Guardians consider whether and to what extent to intervene. The Joker laughs insanely. Villains rampage. Heroes such as Firehawk put aside personal obligations to join the fight. Some use the confusion as an excuse to loot. The Gotham City Police Department prepares to fight to maintain order under Commissioner James Gordon.

Black Adam attacks the military, decimating planes and aircraft carriers. Like a toy, he tosses an aircraft carrier with such force that it's headed toward New York City. He rips off the face of Father Time.

In New York, the people panic. Two criminals use the panic as an excuse to steal and they're taken out violently - perhaps lethally - by Nightwing. But not Dick Grayson - the resurrected Jason Todd is wearing the Nightwing costume.

Firehawk meets up with Jason Rusch - half of Firestorm. He uses Lorraine to join him in the Firestorm Matrix and is able to use the power of Firestorm to convert the aircraft carrier into snow. After separating, Lorraine and Jason agree to work together as Firestorm against Black Adam and then Lorraine will help Jason to locate the missing Martin Stein.

Suddenly the citizens of Sub Diego are losing their ability to breathe underwater and are slowly drowning. Aquaman is shocked.

Troia considers taking on the mantle of Wonder Woman.

Captain Marvel, Jr. and Mary Marvel fight Black Adam to no avail.

Batgirl is being seduced to the dark side by Deathstroke.

Harvey Dent - no longer Two-Face - goes to work protecting Gotham City in Batman's absence.

All this negative thought energy rises up off the Earth and we see it converge into the telepathically overloaded mind of the Martian Manhunter as he screams "NOOOOOOOOOOOO!"

End Part One.

3Story - 3: DC succeeded in making Black Adam a sympathetic bad guy. I know he's killed millions but the reason for his anger makes his rage seem justified, doesn't it? No it doesn't. In the real world, we see all the time that there is no justification for a rage that ends in wholesale pointless slaughter. It's the same in the DCU. Good guys don't kill.

Black Adam was a mass murderer before he met Isis. Adam became a mass murderer again after Isis died. He stopped killing for only a few months. Even the Joker's done that.

Though the images of the Martian Manhunter in telepathic downer-overload may look a little silly in execution, the reality of taking on the memories of millions of people as their lives end is some pretty heavy s*** and helps begin to explain his physical and emotional changes one year later. He may want to consider borrowing some antidepressants from Dr. Magnus.

Of course, a lot of the issue is snippets of one-year-later set-up. Given the number of issues of "52" where absolutely nothing happened, and now that "52" is winding down, we're told there's too much story to explain the "one year later" books in "52"? That's poor plotting and the editors not effectively doing their jobs. Or maybe it's just a way to sell us all four more books without having to rename the series "56".

4Art - 4: It looks like just another issue of "52". And that's a good thing. As a "52" spin-off that expands on events in "52", it should feel like "52" so it doesn't take you out of that old "52" feeling. Can I say "52" any more times?

I really like the artist's take on Firestorm - he's the first artist who's really managed to capture a classic take on the new Firestorm.

4Cover Art - 4: It's a very cool cover that I'd have liked even more had I not seen it a zillion times as the house advertisement for World War III these past few weeks in the DC books.

Mild Mannered Reviews


Note: Month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

January 2007

February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007

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