Waller unleashes her secret weapons; a chunk of metal, x-ray glasses and a jar
The creative team behind Vibe has been building the story issue by issue, each one better than the last, and their efforts appeared to be continuing on that trajectory of ever strengthening monthly installments. But they don’t have to worry about rising to top to beat this one, because it shouldn’t be hard. As a matter of fact, if they can’t, they have problems. This month Vibe smashed down to mediocrity.
Many good parts of the Vibe story continued to be good here. Vibe’s character stands out to comic readers. He is not a gruff, hard ass, he doesn’t swim in a sea of torment and angst, and he is not bitter and cynical. He is young and with believes. If anything, he is naïve enough to believe he should do the right thing and that is more important that power, strength and getting along. Of course, when your boss is Amanda Waller, there will be big problems with that attitude.
Vibe has always come across as a sweet kid and is assisted by his lay about brother, Dante. While Vibe fell into obtaining superpowers, Dante did not and barely musters up the motivation to work. But they are brothers and are close and that gives rise to another good aspect of the story, the relationship between Vibe and Dante as Vibe works for the JLA. Vibe keeps in touch with Dante and lets him in on his secret life. Dante acts as his conscious and sounding board, helping him works through the odd life into which he has been thrust and discussing the every worrying Justice League of America job with Waller and her decisions and values disturbingly encroaching into his job.
So in this issue, Vibe is on the lam, dodging the JLA and Waller’s thugs as he tries to save Gypsy and secure her freedom by helping her find her way home. Vibe can do this because he can sense things from other dimensions. He has the power to direct energy and change the physical reality around him. He can affect the very atomic frequency of our dimension, shaking it and agitating it so that the world will collapse if he wills it. You would think that with all this going for him, he would be a tough target for Suicide Squad. But since we are discussing this, you must know that sadly we get a dose of idiocy at the hands of the creative team whose only inter dimensional powers seem to be driving this issue into realm of illogic, lazy plot devices, bizarre super power changes and just general stupidity.
Vibe makes short work of the Argus shock troops so Waller calls in her Suicide Squad to round up the two fugitives. Ah, this has to be a tough battle, right? Knowing what we know of Vibe’s powers, knowing that Gypsy can appear as anyone else, knowing that Waller considers her to be highly dangerous so there must be more going on in her, and the Suicide Squad should have been in for a tough fight.
Well, apparently all they needed was a magic crow bar, some cool sunglasses, and an attitude. I am not making this up. Crowbar, who apparently is wearing the red shirt as part of the away crew, had a favorite crow bar, and Waller somehow gave it the ability to do damn near anything. It can defeat the powers of Vibe, provided he was using them, and redirect all energy in the universe. Huh? That is one hell of a crow bar. What will Waller come up with next? Duct tape that can draw together the forces of gravity and mass, holding planets together? Wiley Coyote holes you can just drop in front of your enemies? Why not? They wouldn’t be any more ridiculous than that crowbar.
Oh, and Dead Shot doesn’t do much but his glasses can see Vibe when Vibe changes his frequency to disappear from the others. We were told earlier that Vibe alone had the ability in the universe to do this. That is one reason why he is so important. He can see through to other dimensions, He can change his frequency so that nothing else can see him. Little did we know that you just need the right glasses to do all that. THEN WHY THE HELL IS VIBE SO IMPORTANT! WHY DOESN’T ARGUS JUST WALK AROUND WITH MAGIC CROWBARS AND GLASSES AND BE SUPER POWERED PROTECTORS OF EARTH???
Oh, and Harley gets to spot Gypsy then knock her out with one punch. Hmm.
Once all that stupidity ends up, Dante is still out there, looking for Vibe. Vibe is trapped in some kind of magic tube that renders his powers useless. You know, the powers that transcend our dimension? Apparently, these tubes can negate them. Again, why not just dispense the Argus troops with magic crowbars, glasses and the wonder tubes, and they would be unstoppable. They could run around using them like butterfly nets, trapping the super dangerous villains after beating them with magic crow bars and catching them like bugs in a jar.
I am still boggled by how badly that is thought out. You assume there will be holes in superhero stories. You assume there will be logical flaws you can spot or think about. But you forgive them because they are side effects of the fantasy world that we buy so that we can read the cool adventures. But when the logic is so broken that you feel like the issue was crafted by people who not only didn’t care, but were laughing at you, then it becomes a problem.
I have no doubt Vibe will bounce back and be better next month. The character continues to be a guy you root for and celebrate. The dynamics with his brother are fun and endearing. Gypsy is a sweet kid and you want her to make it and flourish on her own. But I just hope that this embarrassing schlock wakes up the creators and gets them to think things through. This is the kind of nonsense that will get angry fans to dump the title.