So, a little while ago on an episode of The Definitive Crusade, I mentioned a tower that appeared in a Superman comic looked like the Tower of Fate. I was actually unsure as truth be told, I hadn’t read anything with Doctor Fate in recently as he had become the third wheel in the new Blue Beetle book, which I also knew nothing about.
Looking at a book for the first time, whilst in mid story, can be problematic. Marvel get round the issue with a “previously on….” page. DC on the other hand seem to work with the assumption that you will have read every issue of every book they put out. That’s a big ask, even with the questionable popularity of Ted Kord and the relatively new Blue Beetle. Story wise, it seems that scarab has gone rogue or been enhanced mystically and it’s up to Doctor Fate to restore the balance and get it back on mode.
Keith Giffen is joined on story by artist Scott Kolins, whilst also delivering the script. Giffen has written a number of excellent DC books in the past and he clearly fits the current DC business model of using their greatest past writers. In his hands, along with J.M. DeMatteis, Ted Kord was once a part of the Dynamic Double Act of Blue Beetle and Booster Gold. Whether it is a lack of a strong writing partner or the lack of Gold, this book lacks a certain sense of humour. Nowadays there is a new Beetle in town in the shape of Jaime Reyes. Reyes has been around for quite sometime now, having appeared in Justice League: Generation Lost and of course being a major player in the Young Justice second season. In addition, he even had his own new 52 book. Of course, Doctor Fate has been around since the original JSA book and himself gone through his fair share of reiterations. Ironically, featuring a Lord of Order as it does, this book is chaotic to say the least.
Scott Kolins provides the art along with the story. As with a number of artists who turn their hand to writing, it seems the book is based on key action points or scenes with a story hung around their shoulders. The art has a dynamism look to it that is slick if not particularly engaging, being as it is loudness upon loudness. The best thing about the book is the colors from Romulo Fajardo who seems to have a blast with the mystical elements in play.
For a while, fans have been clamouring for the return of Ted Kord. Now that he is back, I am not sure this is the Kord they wanted. Seems to me, fans want the Blue and Gold team back, rather than just one part of it. Cast your mind back to the new 52; the Justice League International book featuring Booster got cancelled, as did the Blue Beetle book starring Jaime Reyes. What does that go to show you? Blue and Gold are stronger together, than they are apart. Now we have Kord with two partners who couldn’t hold down a regular monthly book after trying and failing recently. Could this be the first Rebirth book to be cancelled? Time will tell, but after reading this latest issue. I can safely say that, regarding this book, my ignorance is still very blissful.
Writing – 2.5 Stars
Art – 2.5 Stars
Colors – 4 Stars
Writers: Keith Giffen & Scott Kolins
Artist: Scott Kolins