Release Date: September 16, 2014
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As the Crime Syndicate hunts down the few heroes left foolish enough to challenge them--including Batman's protege, Dick Grayson. But Owlman has other plans for Nightwing...and Owlman's teammate: the most deadly being on the planet: Ultraman! Also, Cyborg is one of the lone Justice League members left to fight against the villains that have taken over. How can he possibly find a way to defeat them? Who can he turn to? Two words: Metal Men!
I was hoping this would give me some insight into what was happening to the Justice League, you know, while they were trapped inside the Firestorm Matrix, but that's not what this volume is about.
But it is a cool peek at the backstories of the members of the Crime Syndicate.
You know, one of these days, I 'm going to finally learn to read the blurb.
The Grid was looking for a way to feel something, so he started pawing through the files on all of his new team members.
In case you don't remember, the Grid is Cyborg's now self-aware tech, that separated itself from him in volume 4.
Through this, we learn where these guys came from, and how their bizarro-like existence shaped them into the opposites of our own Justice League.
Some of the stories were admittedly more interesting than others. And some of them, like Superwoman and the 'man in the hood', were missing altogether.
Owlman had (in my opinion) the most original and emotionally complicated story, and it was well worth reading. Ultraman, while still interesting, had your basic Opposite-of-Superman origin story. Power Ring (Hal Jordan's counterpart), was only slightly worth it.
His superpower seemed to be that he was unbelievably whiny and annoying.
Which made it hard to believe that the Crime Syndicate tolerated him, much less let him live.
Hell, I wanted to kill him, and I'm not a super-villain.
Cyborg was the only Justice League member featured in this one, and since the whole story hinged on him figuring out how to take down Grid, it worked out well.
When it started, Cyborg was still (literally) only half a man. He was in his father's lab, being kept alive with the help of the advanced technology that his father and his partner had been studying.
Ok, you know I'm a mushy sentimental kind of girl, so it probably won't surprise you to know that I loved the parts where Cyborg and his dad worked out their issues. His dad finally had the breakdown that I'd been waiting for, and begged forgiveness for not being there for his son.
Plus, Victor got to make the decision about whether or not to become a Cyborg this time around.
Which leads us to....
Gone is the bulky outdated stuff, and in it's place we get a more streamlined version of Cyborg. He still looks badass, but without the clunky armored tank feel to his body, it's easier to see his human side.
Alrighty, last but not least, the Metal Men.
Mixed feeling on these guys, to be quite honest. On one hand, I was excited to read about them in the New 52 setting, but on the other....
I think it would have been better to explore their origin in a different setting. Maybe one where they weren't packed into the background of a larger event?
My feelings on whether or not the Metal Men story even worked are still pretty up in the air.
I guess time will tell?
Ok. And this is just a side note, but there has been some debate on the 'realism' of some of the things that happened in this story arc. One of the things that everyone seemed to agree on, was the part where Ultraman moved the moon in front of the sun, in order to create a permanent eclipse.
Being the opposite of Superman, the sun drains his power.
We all pretty much called bullshit on that one, due to the whole Shit-In-The-Sky-Rotates theory that we're all kind of on board with.
Thankfully, it's addressed in this volume.
Grid does remind Ultraman that he needs to nudge the moon back into place, in order to keep the sunshine levels down.
If you're not enjoying this storyline, nothing here is really going to make you fall in love with it.
But if (like me) you're already having fun with this title, this is another pretty good installment.