the_mighty_monarch's DC Universe Presents #14 - Grave Matters review

Reunion At a Funeral

Ryan Sook really is a phenomenal cover artist. He's got such a smooth style that works well for almost any character, and he knows how to lay out really compelling and unique designs. This cover has a lot of brilliant blending, the army of demons blends into solid color above and below them, with Blue Devil emerging from the shadows and Black Lightning emerging from Blue Devil.

Robson Rocha delivers some really solid interior art. He goes a little overboard with the thinness and horns for demons, but they look really twisted and evil. The action could be a little more dynamic, but he kinda of knows how to fake it well enough.

In terms of the overall plot, this arc is turning out pretty generic. There's a crime boss, two superheroes, he goes after their families, they're going to fight back, and he makes a deal with a demon with a link to one of the heroes. If you took out Black Lightning or Blue Devil you'd get an even more generic story; so it's kind of like two generic stories were fused together to make a slightly better one. But the pacing is great, especially in the beginning with the dual narrative between the aftermath of Liam's death and the funeral, and there's not anything that's really BAD.

Where this arc digs itself out of generic territory is the characters and their connections. The revelation that Black Lightning and Blue Devil were teammates in high school, and fairly good friends, is a pretty interesting one. They're not best friends, but they're friends. It's not an instantly smooth connection, but it's not super rough. It's different. They balance each other out in a lot of ways, most notably being their faith in science or magic. In a lot of ways they're almost like a far more mature version of Fury of Firestorm's Ronnie and Jason. And then throw in the deeper mystic connections in Blue Devil's family and his innability to fully control his demonic powers; and you've got yourself a recipe for success.

In Conclusion: 3.5/5

I like it, and I can't find too many problems with it, but I'm not really excited about it. It's got interesting characters with surprising connections, but other than that the plot is pretty generic and predictable. I'm baffled that he knew about the demon suit and DIDN'T know his grandfather was deeper into the world of magic than he thought, that just seemed stupid. But I like the way these two characters interact, so I'm seeing this through.


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