John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton
jheaton

Books 2006: Day of Vengeance and Villains United

Day of Vengeance by Bill Willingham, Judd Winick, Ian Churchill, and Justiniano
ISBN: 1401208401
Publisher: DC Comics
Date: Nov. 2005
Page Count: 224
Buy this book!

Villains United by Gail Simone, Dale Eaglesham, and Val Semeiks
ISBN: 140120838X
Publisher: DC Comics
Date: Dec. 2005
Page Count: 144
Buy this book!

About these books:

Day of Vengeance: Eclipso, the original spirit of vengeance, needs a new human host.

The Spectre, the current spirit of vengeance, has just lost its human host and is vulnerable.

When Eclipso seeks a new body, it first tries to control the most powerful soul on Earth — Superman. It takes the World's Mightiest Mortal, Captain Marvel, to stop him… but not for long.

Inhabiting the body of a familiar, tortured soul, Eclipso sets its sights on seducing the Spectre, and destroying Earth's practitioners of magic.

Seven heroes stand in their way. All very different. All with different goals at stake. And an eighth is found — who might be the most powerful teenager in the universe.

Is even the Shadowpact, aided once more by Captain Marvel, enough to stop these angry spirits?

Villains United: Six of justice's deadliest enemies band together to start a revolution. Together, they want to take a stand to stop the super-heroic community from tampering with their minds and to prove how deadly they can be! But not everyone agrees to this agenda. Six rogues are recruited by the enigmatic Mockingbird, charged with opposing the Society and given assignments to thwart their rivals and even help their enemies. Who is Mockingbird? Could it be one of the six?

The status quo is rocked by the Society's formation and the revelations along the way make certain that when the Secret Six are done, nothing in the DCU will ever be the same!

Both Day of Vengeance and Villains United were created as preludes to an ongoing DC Comics limited series called Infinite Crisis. As preludes, they get the job done: they effectively set the stage for the events currently unfolding in Infinite Crisis, and do so in a reasonably entertaining fashion. As stories in their own right, they're not as successful. Villains United has some nice character development, but it doesn't have much of a plot — it's pretty much just a lot of scenes of supervillains fighting one another, which has a certain visceral appeal but wears thin over the course of 144 pages. Day of Vengeance has a decent plot, but it doesn't have much of an ending. On the other hand, it does have a talking chimp who solves crimes, which covers a multitude of sins.

I didn't dislike these books, but neither would I say they're particularly good. If you're a long-time comics reader with at least a passing familiarity with the DC Universe, you'll probably get a certain geeky satisfaction out of them. Otherwise, give them a pass.

Oh, and in case you were wondering: yes, it's that Judd Winick, from the cast of The Real World: San Francisco.

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