Sep 5, 2008

[Comics] Day of Vengeance

If you've been following my more recent comic book reviews, you'll note that time and time again DC Comics chooses to return to the magical side of their universe and time and time again the stories fall somewhat short in terms of their execution.

In terms of the comics leading up to the events in Infinite Crisis, Day of Vengeance was the member of the team that played that particular role - to cover how the world of magic is affected by the inexorable advance of events to the impending Crisis. Admittedly, the story of Day of Vengeance sort of played a larger role eventually when it came to the core Infinite Crisis storyline, but that doesn't mean I personally had to like it because of that, hehe.

You might be thinking that even the title, Day of Vengeance seems a bit familiar. I can't blame you since the folks at DC decided to be totally unoriginal and figured another story about various users of magic getting together to face off against a larger opponent just like Day of Judgment needed a very similar title for people to be comfortable and to make the same association. Come on DC Comics, what are we 12?
What is it about magic that makes things get really hokey?

Day of Vengeance seems way to similar to Day of Judgment for comfort. Once again, the spirit of vengeance known as The Spectre is without a host and is running mad around the universe. Because of the influence of the latest incarnation of Eclipso, he's stuck with the mad idea that in order to stop the evil in the world he needs to kill, well, magic itself. Riiight. So he goes off trying to kill all other major magic users in the known universe one-by-one, with Eclipso watching from the sidelines.

ShadowpactImage via Wikipedia Now a group of lesser magic beings find themselves together and perhaps the only ones able to stop the Spectre from destroying all forms of magic before it's too late. With the major players like Dr. Fate, Madame Xanadu and The Phantom Stranger all disabled in one way or another by the Spectre, things just aren't doing too well. As their quest to defeat the Spectre progresses, they end up calling themselves Shadowpact, composed of Blue Devil, Detective Chimp, Enchantress, Nightmaster, Nightshade and Ragman.

First question that comes to mind is whatever happened to the Sentinels of Magic? They seemed to be the big thing after the events in Day of Vengeance, but were never heard from again after that. This time around the writers felt it important enough to introduce yet another group of magical heroes, many of them theoretically members of the Sentinels of Magic. Oh well.

The story here wasn't all that great either and more often than not it seemed that the plot was just stumbling along and just hoped for the best in terms of ending at a good point. Sure, it had a lot of fun moments like the big battle between The Spectre and a magically-enhanced Captain Marvel or having Black Alice stealing magical abilities and using them against her opponents but in terms of a cohesive and relevant plot, I still found things more on the weaker side of the spectrum.

However, the entire piece does seem to play an important role in the coming Infinite crisis conflict, especially when things reach their true climax in the form of the battle between Shazam and the Spectre and the resulting consequences of that battle that set the stage for Infinite Crisis #1. So if only for that, I forgive the series for its bad name and shoddy development, hehe.

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