By: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning (writers), Gianluca Gugliotta (artist), Hi-Fi (colorist)

The Story: What do we want?  Men’s rights!  When do we want it?  Now!

The Review: Historically, resistance movements against foreign occupiers have been marginalized in importance, mostly because much of what they do tend to be, by nature and necessity, discreet and subtle.  Though overthrow of their conquerors is the endgame they strive for, their most ambitious goals usually revolve around weakening, not defeating, their enemies.  Ultimately, their efforts tend to be overshadowed by bigger, splashier military engagements.

And let’s face it: there’s a 99 percent chance that this whole Amazon-Atlantean conflict will patch up due to the Flash’s influence.  Whatever effect Lois Lane and the Resistance will have on the final outcome will be largely moot.  You don’t really expect the events of this title to really sway the events of Flashpoint in a significant way, but you can hope it’ll give you a closer look at the Amazon occupation and a fun, espionage-type story.

In fact, the plot offers a potentially interesting premise, in the Resistance’s quest for the next-gen Britannia armor that can possibly turn their fortunes around.  Unfortunately, the point gets introduced so late in the issue that you can’t possibly get too invested in it.  Instead of actually doing the work to get to the armor, the characters spend most of the time laying out their histories, setting details, and all sorts of other blather that just gets in the way of the action.

DnA devote five pages to Grifter’s tale of going into Afghanistan to strike Jihadist strongholds, in the process meeting Penny Black, another major Resistance player.  Not only does the story have only a scant connection to the current story, it also just seems badly constructed in itself.  If Grifter gets a “flash” warning him of an impending danger, why doesn’t he warn the rest of his team instead of letting them get obliterated?

You also have to wonder at DnA’s choice to start the issue not where we left off last time, with Lois meeting the Resistance face-to-face, but with the Resistance fending off the Furies minutes before running into Lois.  It basically forces her to recount her run-in with Penny Black, which we already knew about anyway.  Again, these expository moments just bleed the issue of time which could otherwise have been spent on telling the actual story.

Not that you can have much confidence in the storytelling, as this issue features the most ill-conceived dialogue DnA have offered yet.  Godiva: “I’m guessing the Amazons got word of [our rendezvous], Grifter!  …Even at full strength, the Resistance is no match for a kill-team of Furies!”  The lines themselves are pointless, since the points are obvious to both us and the characters.  But it’s also disturbing she chooses to shout them in the presence of their enemies.

At first glance, Gugliotta’s art seems a better developed, more detailed improvement over Eddie Nunez, but as you read on, his work is riddled with flaws.  He gives all the women the same body type, and his facial expressions are rudimentary at best.  It also seems like his lines grow sloppier and more careless as the issue proceeds, bleeding into Hi-Fi’s otherwise fine colors.

Conclusion: Never really touching upon a core mission statement or plot, the Resistance becomes so uninspiring you think it’d be easier just to sit quietly and let the Amazons be self-righteous all over you.

Grade: D+

– Minhquan Nguyen

Some Musings: – “…the best cover team the U.S. could field” runs headfirst, guns a’blazing, in costume, directly and openly into enemy territory.  It explains a lot, actually.

– Why would they choose to have their “secret and discreet rendezvous” in some random location, when they ultimately find Penny Black so easily and safely in the WWII bunker they all know about anyway?