Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Steve Orlando
Arwork: Travel Foreman
Lettering: Travis Lanham
Release Date: 14th November 2018
Set in a future DC Universe timeline known as The Cosmic Dark Age, Electric Warriors gives us an Earth ravaged by The Great Disaster. Humanity is no longer the dominant species and the Super Heroes are all long gone, even Superman. In order to maintain peace in the universe, each planet presents their own Gladiator, the Electric Warrior, possessed of the Electric Seed and given to forsake their family and friends to protect their planet’s interests in galactic combat.
For reasons we don’t yet understand but we can assume are linked to the fall of humanity, the governments of Earth are desperate for recognition in the galactic arena, literally. Due to the historic nature of Earth’s attempt to have its voice heard, two Gladiators have been chosen to represent their planet. For the Animals, Deep Dweller of the Octopus Tribes and taking the mantle for humanity, War Cry. Both gladiators will have to put aside their mutual distrust and centuries of enmity for the sake of the Earth. However, will the passing of Superman’s cape to War Cry mean an end to universal peace?
Having read the DC Series Electric Warrior in the 1980’s I was expecting a return to Doug Moench’s Dystopian future shock of alien invasions and global genetic experiments. What we get instead is a dystopian future shock where mankind has been overthrown in a great cataclysm, subjugated by the rise of the Animals (with a capital A) who feel that man is still a detriment to the future survival of Earth.
Conceptually this should be a great story. The Super Heroes have failed, humanity is devastated and displaced from their position in the galactic food chain, and some even believe that the fall of man was the fault of their reliance on superheroes to solve all the world’s problems.
The execution of the concept however, is a little too predictable for my liking. We have the Human protagonist, a troubled and angry young man, displacing his better, honourable and selfless brother from what he deems a death sentence, finding himself in possession of cosmic powers and a relic of great significance and potency who will inevitably become humanity’s great saviour. We have the virtuous and enlightened partner that strives to further the enrichment of her people but will inevitably be swayed to compromise her beliefs by the maverick tendencies of the “hero”. It’s a tale that’s been told a hundred times, I just hope that the last page of this issue portends a twist worthy of the premise that’s being laid out.
Having recently read Steve Orlando’s Dead Kings, I do have hope for this series. He is a very talented writer who can deliver tension, darkness and terror in a way that could lift this series from the predictable to a whole other level, and I’m looking forward to seeing whether he can deliver some of this in the next issue.
The artwork from Travel Foreman (Constantine, Civil War II, Action Comics) is a bit hit and miss for me. There’s just not a huge amount of detail in the characters and most are immediately forgettable or interchangeable. I really don’t think it’s helped by the colouring which is fairly generic, quick and dirty CGI. I was intrigued by War Cry’s costume which has elements of all the original Justice League characters, capped off with the actual cape of Kal-El, but that was the highlight for me.
Overall, just having Orlando on the project will keep me interested enough to read the next issue but this isn’t a great start to a new title and it really needs to step up its game in terms of the artwork.
The writer of this piece was: Mark Scott
Mark Tweets from @macoy_comicgeek