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    Reviews - Armageddon: Inferno - #4

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Satisfying end, but poorly realized - mellotron12
My early gripe with this book is that it is titled "Armageddon: Inferno" but has nothing to do with "Armageddon 2001," other than that it features Waverider. There are a lot of things about this book that are unnecessary. John Ostrander seemingly chose superheroes at random to face the deamen of Abraxis at four different points in our time continuum. Guy Gardner is teamed with Enemy Ace. Sgt Rock and Easy Company battle alongside Hawkman and Hawkwoman. Superman and Ultra Boy. Having this battle take place on so many fronts caused continuity and transition issues. Furthermore, a different art team was assigned to each group. That creates a lack of art continuity. The choice of Luke McDonnell and Bruce Solotoff as the bookend artists was an unfortunate one. Their product is incomplete with no attention to background detail and small figures.
The whole point of the mini-series was to resituate the Justice Society in DC continuity, which it succeeds in doing. Waverider and the Spectre pull the Justice Society out of limbo to face Abraxis in his own dimension. Finally, Ostrander gives readers a battle scene that is exciting with banter reminiscent of the Golden Age. The Justice Society appear to be as powerful as ever. Unfortunately, the readers are not given the full satisfaction of seeing Abraxis' demise. That is left to the natives of Abraxis' dimension. Waverider brings the Justice Society back to our dimension, explaining that the Abraxis' daemen are left to fight the battle of Ragnarok in limbo for all eternity. That would have been an exciting moment, but readers are denied it. Instead we get Waverider with the incomplete figures of the Justice Society (actually they look like an artist's starting model of a person) behind him. Total failure.
This mini-series could have been an epic one if it had focused entirely on Waverider, the Spectre, and the Justice Society. Ostrander did not need to devote an issue to each war front in various moments in time. That's not the goal of the story. The Spectre should have told Waverider from the beginning that the Justice Society were the right choice. They were the ones in limbo and thus least likely to disrupt the time continuum if used in this battle.
This mini-series did raise my interest in Enemy Ace. He seems like an interesting character, especially as drawn by Walt Simonson.
All in all, this mini-series was a failure suffering from too many artists, poor art, poor story flow and transition, too many characters serving no relevant purpose, an uninteresting villain, and lack of story focus. Why not call it "The Return of the Justice Society," like the subtitle of this issue? That's a more relevant and interesting title.




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