Poor Armageddon 2001 follow-up - mellotron12
Despite the fact that the last issue of Armageddon 2001 suffered from rushed art and story, it doesn't make sense that Armageddon: Inferno should appear to be so poorly planned.
John Ostrander is typically an excellent writer, as is indicated with his runs on Firestorm and The Spectre, but this first issue was terribly rushed and suffers from irrational ideas.
So, Waverider must pull heroes from different points in time to fight the daemons of a villain called Abraxis in other points in time. This issue sees the team of Batman, the Creeper, Ultra Boy, The Spectre, and Firestorm thrown together haphazardly in Moscow just after the overthrow of Gorbachev. Oh, yes, Ostrander loves to have his heroes thwarting Communist powers, but in this case they are fighting an extra-dimensional superpower in a former Communist state.
There is no logic to the choice in heroes at all. Why the early Ronnie Raymond Firestorm? Why not the Elemental Firestorm? What can the Spectre do against a force from another dimension? He does just what is expected; he talks big and accomplishes nothing.
Many artists contribute to this book, and the art suffers not only because of the abrupt juxtaposition in styles but also from rushed battle scenes and poor transitions. Luke McDonnell and Bruce Solotoff are the initial art team. Panels focus on figures. No attention is given to background, since most of it is Waverider swimming in the timestream. Also, Gene D'Angelo's colors are boring. He uses the four inks (cyan, yellow, magenta, and black) and rarely a combination of them. The last pages of the book are drawn by Tom Mandrake, who is one of my favorite artists, but even his work cannot wring some sense out of this story. D'Angelo's colors improve here; it makes me wonder if the first nine pages were added closer to printing time.
Finally, who is Abraxis and why should he be considered such a threat? It's just explained that he's an evil guy from another dimension bored with his dictatorship there. What does he have to do with the Armageddon concept? Will this story have anything to do with Captain Atom and Monarch? Or is this book called "ARMAGEDDON: Inferno" simply because it features Waverider?
In sum, the book suffers from too many artists, poor artists, poor color, a rushed story, an uninteresting villain, and a pointless superhero salad.