By J. Michael Straczynski (writer), Chris Weston (pencils), Garry Leach (inks), Chris Chuckry (colors)
I’ll be keeping this review short, as my original draft was lost when my computer unexpectedly shut down. In a nutshell, The Twelve #4 is another fantastic issue by J. Michael Straczynski and Chris Weston. I wasn’t blown away by this issue like the previous, but that’s only because the “new-ness” of the series has finally worn off. But don’t take that, by any means, as a slight towards the issue. The momentum started by Straczynski continues with the first ramifications (of many, I’m sure) hitting the team.
Laughing Mask gets his guns confiscated when the police show up looking for evidence of the robbery he brutally stopped. Black Widow’s “sacrifice” or murder (seen last issue), may also come back to bite her in the butt as well. We also get more character development as Rockman delves into his own backstory. It feels completely like golden age pulp, but at the same time it’s fascinating. The concept is so much fun that I’d pay to see a Rockman solo book someday, and how his history fits into the Marvel Universe.
Dyanamic Man also makes a return. I can’t decide which version of this character is more interesting. The racist, almost Nazi poster boy version portrayed by this series or the visionary and robotic utopian builder portrayed in Project Superpowers. I find it interesting that both Straczynski and Jim Krueger decided to make their versions unlikeable. But Straczynski probably gets the edge by giving his version of Dynamic Man more complexities.
If you’ve been following this series, then you’ll find yourself completely immersed in another mature and engrossing installment. This is the best team book Marvel’s got going right now. And Chris Weston’s art is stunning. (Grade: A)