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The Red Circle: The Web #1 Review

Reviews for the various Mighty Crusaders Comics.

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Post Thu Dec 10, 2009 11:35 pm
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The Red Circle: The Web #1 Review
The digital age vigilante strikes out on his own.
by Jesse Schedeen


September 23, 2009 - Last month's Red Circle mini-event didn't prove nearly as successful as I had hoped considering J. Michael Straczynski was behind the wheel. But if nothing else, the subsequent launch of the ongoing series for The Shield proved that these re-imagined characters have a great deal of potential ready to be mined. Eric Trautmann did a fantastic job taking Straczynski's groundwork and building something more substantial from it. Angela Robinson doesn't meet with quite as much success in The Web, but her take on the tech-loving hero is still a step or two above Straczynski's initial treatment.

As Phillips put it last month, The Web is really just Batman with a fondness for the Internet and the power of viral video. However, Robinson succeeds in separating the two heroes a bit more. This is thanks in large part to the Raymond family dynamic. Our hero now has his obligatory tragedy thanks to his brother's death. Moreover, he has an intriguing mystery to investigate concerning a special new brand of drug sweeping the city. Web's narration is grim without ever going overboard into self-parody. Robinson also wisely tones down the Internet element of Web's modus operandi. It's still there, but not played up to the annoying extent it was last time.

Robinson has all the makings of a fine superhero noir tale here, which is why it's a little disappointing the art doesn't veer more in that direction. There's nothing really wrong with Roger Robinson's art. It's clean and features clear storytelling. It's just a little lifeless at times and could definitely use a boost in style and mood. Web may act like a 21st Century vigilante hero, but he doesn't fully look the part.

By comparison, the art in the Hangman backup feature is more along the lines of what I'd like to see. Tom Derenick isn't the star of the show, but rather inker Bill Sienkiewicz. Sienkiewicz lends a nice gritty veneer to what might otherwise have been a very standard visual presentation. In terms of the script, Hangman still proves the most underwhelming of all four Red Circle heroes. His struggle continues to feel far removed from the other three characters, and nothing besides Sienkiewicz's work does anything to sell the character.

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