Friday, January 30, 2009

Review: Reign In Hell #7

This mini-series has been a bit muddy for me to completely comprehend. Part of that may be my unfamiliarity with many of the magical characters. I don't know many of their origins, powers, or background stories. As a result, I might be grading this lower than Shadowpact fans might. But bear with me.

We open with Rama Kushna (as an agent of balance) trying to birth a chaos event from Nanda Parbat to set things right.

The main storyline picks up right where last issue left off, with Lord Satanus defeating Neron in battle and becoming Ruler of Hell. Neron's forces were the tormentors in Hell, doling out punishments for the damned. Now depowered, Neron's troops are suddenly on the receiving end.

Satanus takes on the regalia of his new post while his charred sister Blaze literally crawls into the skin of Lilith. The two have a discussion on how they will run Hell. While the damned are currently having fun flaying Neron's troops ... that can only last so long. Where will the inhabitants of Hell turn their wrath too once all of the old regime has been expunged? Towards Satanus or on each other? To ensure that nothing else tips the scales one way or another, Satanus completely closes all pathways from Hell to the outside world - both in and out.


In the meantime, the ancillary players begin to realize that this war is nearing an end. Shadowpact are told by Zauriel to head to Purgatory which is suddenly a safe zone in the afterworld. Zauriel implies that his resistance movement in Hell is done. Dr. Fate finds himself trapped in Hell.

Blue Devil has a choice to make - remain completely human (he was stripped of his demon essence by Satanus' ploy) or choose to be Blue Devil again, albeit as a half-breed, a demon/man.


Black Mary drains the immobilized Lobo of his powers.


And Zatanna's group finds themselves drained and near defeat. They run into Rose and Yellow Peri who tells them that they also should run to Purgatory for shelter.

But let's face it, I am reading this series because I want to see what Giffen has in mind with Linda Danvers. And this issue has made me lose hope. This is not going to end well for one of my favorite comic characters of all time.

She has joined Dr. Occult on his mission to get out of Hell. The two of them have been told by Rose to head to Purgatory for sanctuary (sounds like a running theme). Occult comments that there is 'all kinds'a crazy' behind Supergirl's eyes. Already, you can sense a disdain that Giffen has for the character.

The two run into some depowered Neron flunkies. Linda judges them and immolates them until nothing is left but there bones. It is true that as the Earth Angel, Supergirl was the angel of judgment. But Occult is sort of struck with how easily she kills seemingly defenseless and powerless beings.

Linda doesn't take kindly to that and in an almost paranoid rage begins accusing him of working for Hell, plotting against her.

He holds up his symbol as a shield but as she looks into it, she becomes saddened saying that what she sees is not who she is. She flies off.

Occult runs into Zatanna's group near the gates of Purgatory. Zatanna explains that Occult's symbol showed Linda a reflection of who she was. Unclear of what to do next, the group trudges off for shelter.

This story seems to be wrapping up with the new regime tenuously in place. My guess is that the 'magical' realm will not like Satanus being in charge and that we are in for one more overthrow.

My big concern is that Linda Danvers will be the person to overthrow him. Throughout this series she has been portrayed as hot-tempered, confused, impetuous, and lethal. My guess is she will think she is doing something good by bringing her judgment and good intentions into Hell. But I don't want Linda to be the Queen of Hell. One of the things I loved about PAD's run was that Linda was a very complex person, tainted by evil but striving for redemption. She defeated the Carniverean in Supergirl #50 more through love and forgiveness than with brute strength and holy fire. She deserves better than this.

And yes, I understand that at the end of the Supergirl run she felt used and abused by god. That she went looking for a place where a burned out shell of a soul was a plus not a minus.

But to me she was a hero. She was someone human, with human frailties and uncertainties, who simply tried to do what was right for others. No one sacrificed more for the good of others, despite the personal anguish it would cause, than Linda Danvers.
Maybe to others she is a throw away character from the 90's who is suddenly going to be a cooler 'bad girl'. But I think this is pandering. And it saddens me ... sickens me.
I'll say it again ... Linda Danvers deserves better than this.

Overall grade: C-

13 comments:

Patty said...

Damn right! I personally, don't know which would be worse, having her become some new agent of evil in Hell, or having her "flying off" be, like, a metaphor for the fact that they're never going to use her again... Meanwhile, I think that this fits:

http://lonelantern.deviantart.com/art/WTF-Reign-in-Hell-111215183

I am so angry... You've got no idea.
--Yota.

alan49 said...

Well maybe being the queen of hell doesn't mean being an agent of evil but an agent of God as in queen of hell = Warden. After all hell is God's ultimate prison.

TalOs said...

Anj said..
My big concern is that Linda Danvers will be the person to overthrow him. Throughout this series she has been portrayed as hot-tempered, confused, impetuous, and lethal. My guess is she will think she is doing something good by bringing her judgment and good intentions into Hell. But I don't want Linda to be the Queen of Hell.

I don't think ANY true Linda fan would want that at the end of the day either.

One of the things I loved about PAD's run was that Linda was a very complex person, tainted by evil but striving for redemption. She defeated the Carniverean in Supergirl #50 more through love and forgiveness than with brute strength and holy fire. She deserves better than this.

Oh in total 100% fully agreement with!

And yes, I understand that at the end of the Supergirl run she felt used and abused by god. That she went looking for a place where a burned out shell of a soul was a plus not a minus.

If (and this is a BIG if) Young Justice is still in continuity come Post-FC DCU E-0 continuity then there's always the chance that Linda could as of yet be reunited with her Pre-COIE E-1 daughter Ariella yet for in Young Justice PAD (Peter David) had her crash landing in rocket ship time traveling back to the late 20th Century upon emerging from her ship she was greeted by "Slobo" (Lobo clone de aged to that of a young tween) so there's still hope yet for Linda to truly be happy God willing she makes it out of RIH alive an intact.

But to me she was a hero. She was someone human, with human frailties and uncertainties, who simply tried to do what was right for others. No one sacrificed more for the good of others, despite the personal anguish it would cause, than Linda Danvers.
Maybe to others she is a throw away character from the 90's who is suddenly going to be a cooler 'bad girl'. But I think this is pandering. And it saddens me ... sickens me.
I'll say it again ... Linda Danvers deserves better than this.


Oh absolutely! And I for one just don't see how she could be presented as being the norm rather then the exception in RIH and NOT make it out of Hell or Purgatory for would God truly allow an Elemental fire Angel still being able to retain her divine heavenly ability/gifts if she truly was evil and that of a fallen Angel like Satan before her? I think not! Ergo I truly believe the fact that Linda has been seen still being able to retain her divine bestowed gifts is living proof that Linda will make it out of RIH intact and I also now believe Zauriel will be the one to give up his own Angelic life in order to insure that Linda Danvers a human/Angel entity makes it back top side to E-0 safely and in one piece in the end.

Yota said...

TalOs said...

Linda could as of yet be reunited with her Pre-COIE E-1 daughter Ariella yet for in Young Justice PAD (Peter David) had her crash landing in rocket ship time traveling back to the late 20th Century upon emerging from her ship she was greeted by "Slobo"


Wait, when did this happen?!

TalOs said...

When? I unfortunately can't quite remember the exact issue number off the top of my head but it was DEFINITELY nearing the very end of PAD's run on the title (and the title itself) is all I can remember though. :/

Yota said...

Found it! It was issue #21, on the very last page; yes, I nerded out and dug through all of my back-issues :D...

Wait, though... She crash lands on Earth and all, so has she been here all along?!

TalOs said...

That's it! Issue #21! ;)

Wait, though... She crash lands on Earth and all, so has she been here all along?!

Well, unfortunately it's all up to the PTB at DC to decide on this now come their whole Post-FC DCU E-0 continuity proper. I for one hope she is still in THIS all new continuity.

Yota said...

If they've retconned out Ariells Kent, I will drive my ass to New York and personally bitch-slap Dan Didio...

D:<

It'll be great; you'll see me on the news...

Anj said...

If they've retconned out Ariells Kent, I will drive my ass to New York and personally bitch-slap Dan Didio...

D:<

It'll be great; you'll see me on the news...


Thanks so much for the posts and the info guys. I didn't realize Ariella appeared in Young Justice.

And thanks for the above post in particular. I needed the laugh.

Yota said...

... I'm serious.

Anonymous said...

Thanks a ton for posting this review.

And all I can say is yuck. Just...yuck.

I just don't want it to be true, to have Linda Danvers brought back like THIS. I mean, how many times does it have to be said? Linda Danvers lost her angelic powers! The Earth Angel of Fire was passed to Twilight, while Linda became...well, not sure what. She blasted the snot out of that Xenon guy somehow, so she still has some cosmic kick of SOME kind (gold stars awarded for anyone who can explain it to me), but Linda is NOT an angel anymore.

Again, its NOT that hard to work around. In fact, its pretty damn easy to work through this. Twilight became the Angel of Fire...Twilight was a New God...The New Gods die, leaving the angelic aspect without a home...angel acts crazy without a "host".

All without involving Linda Danvers in this boondoggle. And it wouldn't change much of the story in Reign In Hell, either. You can HAVE this angel become Queen of Hell or whatever because its NOT LINDA!

Linda's fine. Continuity saved. What's not to like?

Again, thanks for the post...and keeping the faith.

Chance

Chance said...

Thanks a ton for posting this review.

And all I can say is yuck. Just...yuck.

I just don't want it to be true, to have Linda Danvers brought back like THIS. I mean, how many times does it have to be said? Linda Danvers lost her angelic powers! The Earth Angel of Fire was passed to Twilight, while Linda became...well, not sure what. She blasted the snot out of that Xenon guy somehow, so she still has some cosmic kick of SOME kind (gold stars awarded for anyone who can explain it to me), but Linda is NOT an angel anymore.

Again, its NOT that hard to work around. In fact, its pretty damn easy to work through this. Twilight became the Angel of Fire...Twilight was a New God...The New Gods die, leaving the angelic aspect without a home...angel acts crazy without a "host".

All without involving Linda Danvers in this boondoggle. And it wouldn't change much of the story in Reign In Hell, either. You can HAVE this angel become Queen of Hell or whatever because its NOT LINDA!

Linda's fine. Continuity saved. What's not to like?

Again, thanks for the post...and keeping the faith.

Anj said...

Thanks a ton for posting this review.

And all I can say is yuck. Just...yuck.

I just don't want it to be true, to have Linda Danvers brought back like THIS.


Thanks so much for the post.

Yuck ... that just about sums it up.

Linda deserves better than this.