Friday, May 24, 2013

Bullet Review: Vibe #4

I know I am a bit late but here is a bullet review of Vibe #4.

One of the things that stands out for me with this book is the sensibilities of Paco as a new young hero. I am a sucker for the 'hero's journey' and no one seems to capture that as well as writer Sterling Gates. Here is Vibe, a good person, trying to figure out his powers, trying to figure out his place in the world, and trying to figure out the intentions of A.R.G.U.S. Does he want to work for this group? Is he a good person working for a bad group?

I know that sales haven't been phenomenal for this book but I hope we have time to explore all the pressures on Vibe. He clearly has a sense of right and wrong. But he needs to worry about his family. The government is providing some stuff for him. Will he sacrifice who he is to protect his family?

On top of that, I am intrigued about the breachers into the DCnU, those other-dimensional beings who cross over. I keep hoping we are going to see a veritable Who's Who of breachers from the old DCU in these issues.

Pete Woods is off this issue so art is done by Manual Garcia and Fabiano Neves.  I like the soft tones on the later pages involving Gypsy.

Last issue ended with a super-powered invader teleporting into Paco's house. We learn that he had been captured by ARGUS and was called The Breacher, or Subject Zero.

It is a brief encounter as he is 'pulled back' by someone or someones before he can talk to Vibe for any length of time.

As always, I am intrigued by Breacher, wondering if anyone we know is under that mask. The costume has a bit of an OMAC feel to it. But could it be Breach, the Captain Atom variant from a few years ago? And who is calling him back? He doesn't seem happy about it. And the purple energy sort of struck me as Pariah-like.

Meanwhile, Gypsy had also escaped last issue. On the run from both ARGUS and the plain old police, she uses her powers to great effect at a street bazaar. I like how she adopts a sort of variation of her more classic DCU 'costume' just by buying clothes at this fair. Very nice nod to history there.

It is clear that Gypsy is a nice person, buying popcorn for a homeless person and generally hiding out.

But she also has some fierce skills. She is able to 'bend light' to create sort of illusions around herself to look like anyone else. And she has martial arts skills as we see her thrashing people with flurries of kicks and punches. 

Gypsy is considered a major threat to our Earth by A.R.G.U.S. Vibe is called in to locate and detain her.

Between last issue's run in with Kid Flash and the early encounter with Breacher, Vibe is starting to question his mission. He isn't exactly ready to completely rebel. But he wants more information about these people he is hunting down. It makes sense that he would be torn. He is a kid who has been inducted into the Justice League so that is a good deal. But he doesn't want to imprison people wrongly.

And I like how Dale Gunn is sort of a sounding board. Gunn isn't as much of a lunatic as Amanda Waller. But he seems to fall in line with orders pretty quickly.

In a scene which mirrors (maybe a bit too closely) last issue's scene with Kid Flash, Vibe is able to befriend Gypsy and tries to figure out is she really some sort of threat to Earth. Vibe has been told Gypsy is a vanguard for an invasion. She tells him she is lost, sucked through a portal she is trying to find to return home. This is two issues in a row where Vibe has disobeyed orders and ARGUS isn't going to be happy about that.

Maybe that conflict between Vibe and his bosses is going to happen sooner rather than later.

One thing I did like about the issue is how Gates is able to show how big a threat Gypsy would be. While Vibe is able to single her out, throughout the issue we see her as Batman, as Vibe, as a homeless person. She would be able to hide in plain sight incredibly well. And best of all, sometimes as readers we aren't let in on the feint at first. When she looks like Vibe, I assumed it was Vibe until she dropped her glamour. Nice. I like being surprised when I read comics.

Well, if Vibe isn't going to bring in Gypsy, Amanda Waller decides she'll have someone bring in Gypsy and Vibe. Here comes the Suicide Squad!

Okay, as a comic reader who cut my teeth on Legion, Teen Titans, Firestorm, and (of course) Supergirl, I have a soft spot for a title based on a young hero learning the ropes. Vibe settles nicely into that genre of comics and I have to say, I am enjoying it. Considering the fact that I have thought Vibe was a complete joke for 3 decades, I think kudos are in order for DC, Geoff Johns, and Sterling Gates.

I suppose I will have to wait a bit to see a jail break from the Circus of captured interdimensional characters. But I better see one!

Overall grade: B/B+


PRgirl1294 said...

I just wanted to say that you've got the title wrong for this issue. It's Vibe #4, not Vibe #3.

BTW, are you gonna review Superman #20 and the Smallville Season 11 Special #1? 'Cause those books both just came out this week.

Anj said...

Thanks. Numbering corrected!

Will review Superman, probably Monday. I have to wait for print Smallville Special which I think comes out next week.

PRgirl1294 said...

I stand corrected. The Smallville Season 11 Special #1 comes out on the 29th. But either way, please review that.

PRgirl1294 said...

Also, please participate in this and get everyone you know to do the same.

Martin Gray said...

Nice review, Anj, I love the JLDetroit-ness of this book. Athough it seems that this time Dale Gunn won't be juggling romances with both Zee and Vixen ... great stuff!

Anj said...

Will do PRGirl!

Anj said...

Thanks Mart.

I would have dove more into Gunn if I did a full review. I think he will make a nice sort of foil for Paco here. In the opening scene, Gunn wants to shelter his husband because he doesn't want him to be hurt or caught in the crossfire.

I assume that Paco will have to face a similar decision with his family.