Thursday, November 21, 2013

Review: Vibe #9

Vibe #9 came out last week, the last comic from the big pile in line for review. It also marks the penultimate issue of the comic and that continues to bother me. Because Vibe has been a bright spot of heroism in the New 52 DCU.

Writer Sterling Gates has shifted the location of the book to Gypsy's dimension as Cisco tries to be a multi-dimensional hero. I actually think this is a great idea and a great story. I could imagine how this would open up some potential for the title if it was continuing. I could see plots based on Earth and then every so often shifting to another dimension for a story. But we won't see that.

Moreover, there is a lot of stuff going down on Earth in this title. While I am happy we will see the end of the Gypsy (and I assume Rupture) storylines, I hope next issue affords enough Earth-time for things to be wrapped up there as well.

Art is done by Derlis Santacruz and he does a fine job here.

It is hard to know just how long Vibe has been stuck in Gypsy's home dimension of Piradell but it long enough to be going out on missions for Breacher's underground.

There are few 'free minds' left on the world as Mordeth, Gypsy's wicked dictator of a mother, has been ruling with an iron fist and transforming free people into 'raptors', obedient cyborg beings.

Hope is so slim that some missions are being done children! Okay, big-brained telepathic kids who happen to look like Kid Psycho from the Legion but kids nonetheless.

Anyways, what I like about this is how much we have seen Vibe grow in confidence. When he saves these children from raptors, he declares that he is part of the Justice League. This is different than the young hero blown away by his circumstance early in the book. It also shows that he remains a 'good guy', joining the fight for justice even here.

The kids were out to get a 'multiversal refraction sphere', a concentrated dose of dimensional energies.

The sphere will somehow control Vibe's leaking dimensional energy. So his Tony Stark-chest plate is opened and the sphere is put in.

Now stable and stronger, the underground is ready to take the fight to Mordeth.

This kid has to be a Gates' homage to Kid Psycho, even the costume is similar.

While the bulk of the story is in Piradell, we do head back to Earth for a bit.

As I have said before, I really like what Gates has done with Dale Gunn on the book. Gunn is a conflicted guy trying to get back to his ethics and ideals.

Here he checks in on Dante, Cisco's younger brother. Remember, he was wounded when Gunn snuck him in to try and free Vibe from the Circus. The resulting jailbreak was complete chaos of breachers running free.

But this response was perfect and sensible. When Dante chastises Gunn for not doing more to find Vibe, Gunn lashes back. He has done a lot for this family. He deserves more than being yelled at by a kid.

It shows how hard it can be to live up to high standards.

One thing I love is when art and words complement each other. Here Rupture struggles mentally. He seems to be close to remembering that Cisco is his brother, that he isn't simply a genocidal thug for Mordeth.

These panels looking at the mask at arm's length from him, physically distancing the Rupture identity from the Armando one, is a nice little art trick to convey the feelings. Good stuff here. This was my favorite part of this issue.

Unfortunately, Mordeth is able to use her powers to re-train Rupture and bring him back into the fold. And boy, does she have some plans.

She will use Rupture to crush Breacher's rebellion.

And then she will use the energy drained from Gypsy to break the wall to Earth and invade. Even if one 'raptor' makes it, she will soon have an army of Cyborg's to help her.

Mordeth is pretty crazy. Of course, if your name is 'more death', you might have issues. But this is downright evil. She gave birth to Gypsy to drain her of her vibrational energies. Chilling. Indeed, we see Gypsy stuffed in a device that would make Granny Goodness proud.

Vibe continues to show that he wants to be a hero. While the rebellion is talking about crushing Mordeth, Vibe has his eyes on the heroic prize - saving Gypsy and his brother. He wants to rescue not battle.

And he again shows his growth as he stands up to the powers that be.

I will miss this character and this book!

But maybe that optimism, that hope that people's basic nature is good, might be his undoing.

Mordeth has a mole in the rebellion which leads Rupture into the camp. Armando begins smashing his way through Breacher's forces.

And the Breacher turns on Vibe. The 'multidimension refraction sphere' makes Vibe into a dimensional bomb. With Mordeth trying to break through to Earth, Breacher pulls the grenade pin and literally throws Vibe at Mordeth's stronghold.

Hmmm ... neither side of this conflict are really good guys. Will this cynical dimension and our cynical world tarnish Cisco? Or will he rise above?

Or will he even survive!!

The book also has Amanda Waller confronting Dante. Maybe Cisco is going to die and Dante will become the 'even newer' Vibe?

I hope not. Cisco has been a breath of fresh air in the dank New 52 DCU. It is a shame this book is ending. But I will support it and enjoy it till the end.

Overall grade: B+/B

1 comment:

Martin Gray said...

Great review, I'm really going to miss this series. I'm also a little worried the Circus prisoners will get short shrift - mind, this is Gates, so he'll likely do a great job.