'Wherefore Art Thou' Doesn't Even Begin to Describe It
Brett Booth is a fine artist, but he should NOT do Vibe covers. Brett Booth is an artist in some circles infamous for his excessive lines. Thus, when depicting someone whose entire power basis causes extra lines, creates art that's cluttered and confusing. And speaking of art, I wish this series would stick with a consistent artist, and not keep jumping back and forth between Pete Woods and Andres Guinaldo willy nilly. Luckily the two manage to find a style that looks similar to the other, so the transition's not extremely jarring, but it's noticeable.
DC's marketing focus on this series has always bothered me. It's hard to imagine great sales when the tone of the marketing always seems to be "Why did we give this guy a series? He's so lame!" Yes it's basically followed by "Well come see WHY we gave him a series as he tries to prove he's NOT lame!" But that doesn't totally help. The reaction to the first issue seemed to come with a lot of surprise, and honestly if it weren't for the weird marketing, I don't think people would be so surprised that the series was good. This Vibe is completely different from the JLD Vibe of old. He's not really lame at all. He's powerful, an interesting teen hero, and his adventures have deep ties to bigger mysteries of the DCU. He should be pushed more as a struggling teen hero brand new to the game, not a carryover from his old reputation and trying to shed it; BECAUSE HE'S NOT THAT SAME CHARACTER ANYMORE.
After releasing the entirety of The Zoo in his escape last issue, all hell has broken loose at A.R.G.U.S., but what's interesting about the chaos is that it's simply the setting here. Vibe barely has the focus to deal with all the insane reality ruptures going on here as he's hit with some seriously personal turmoil. This whole time he's trusted Gypsy, and while she still doesn't appear to have evil intentions, she did kind of lie to him. But he still wants to help her, which is nice, because all too often 'heroes' would jump into 'subdue and rage first, ask questions later' in this kind of situation. But he barely has time to process that because his foe is his long presumed dead older brother Armando. Armando's story is definitely right at the precipice of a tragic one. In saving his little brother from Parademons, it turns out he gained basically the same powers, but likely because he was on a different frequency in the blast or something, he ended up warping to another dimension, where he was brainwashed and his powers harnessed for evil. Usually there's more of a memory struggle, but it's clear there's hardly a shred of armando left. I'm really excited to see how this emotional struggle affects Vibe as he gets deeper into it.
In Conclusion: 4/5
This series thrives a little too much on us seeing characters certain ways simply because other characters tell us to. I would see Vibe more as a struggling teen hero, but everyone seems eager to remind us that he's "totally lame and doesn't deserve to be on the Justice League. I mean, really? Vibe?" But mostly in this issue it's people referring to Gypsy as Vibe's ;girlfriend.' I'm not saying I'm not seeing a romantic subplot possibly happening, but Sterling Gates is making it too obvious. There's been some touching interactions for sure, but not enough to fully justify the world 'girlfriend' being thrown around left and right. Otherwise Vibe continues to be a very enjoyable and interesting series.