Review: Crime Syndicate #1
Crime Syndicate #1 takes us to Earth-3 where “evil” version of our known superheroes rule. The issue is an interesting one presenting the group it would seem before they’ve come together and instead giving us a tease of each. Some of it works and some of it doesn’t with an issue that’s a bit choppy in quality.
Written by Andy Schmidt, the comic re-introduces us to the various members. It has them plant their flags in their own ways. All of the members are horrible individuals in their own special way. This isn’t a team or “heroes” to be rooting for, Schmidt nails that aspect down. But, the tone of the comic still feels a bit “light’ for such evil individuals. There’s a pulp vibe to it in some ways with a dose of humor thrown in which feels a bit off.
Schmidt has some fun with that “pulp” aspect though referencing comics that don’t exist and haven’t happened. It delivers a wink a nod to the history all of these characters have.
But, what’s odd is that this feels a bit of an echo to the Justice League relaunch with the New 52 bringing the team together. There’s both history and newness to it all. It doesn’t pack the punch when it the Crime Syndicate was revealed years ago as to the evil that lurked in the DC Universe and sparked “Trinity War”.
The art by Kieran McKeown is ok but doesn’t quite fit the tone of the characters. With ink by Dexter Vines, color by Steve Oliff, and lettering by Rob Leigh there’s a bit of a classic feel to the art. It matches the comedic aspects of the comic but the style doesn’t quite match that “evil” and “dark” aspect of the team I was expecting. The art is a bit to bright and light to fit well with these characters.
Schmidt is also joined by Bryan Hitch, Alex Sinclair, and Leigh in an origin story for Ultraman. The back-up story is more of what I was expecting with the main story. It’s a bit darker in tone and shows more of the torture and twisted nature of these characters. Juxtaposed with the main story, the tone issues are more apparent.
Crime Syndicate #1 is a bit too much of a fresh start with an unexpected tone that doesn’t quite fit. These were brutally evil characters who were always plotting. Here we’re presented with more goofy mirror images of heroes we know. There’s potential for the series as it goes on with more interactions but as is, the comic is a bit choppy in its presentation getting them to that point.
Story: Andy Schmidt Art: Kieran McKeown, Bryan Hitch
Ink: Dexter Vines Color: Steve Oliff, Alex Sinclair Letterer: Rob Leigh
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read