This summer, we will see a group of morally dubious super-powered people taking on giant alien starfish Starro on the big screen, but before that it’s time to let DC’s other group of “mostly-evil-sometimes-good guys” take a stab at the big wet conqueror. That’s right, this month’s Crime Syndicate #3 sees the title team uniting for the first time to take down Earth-3’s version of the intergalactic starfish.
We have officially reached the halfway point of the six issue mini-series, which seeks to re-establish the Crime Syndicate in a post-Death Metal multiverse, for better or worse (so far, mostly worse). This issue acts as a finale of sorts to the first half of the series, with the disparate group of villains uniting to take on the larger threat at last.
The issue starts off with a flashback explaining a little bit about this Earth’s version of Starro, and a look at its history with the power rings. Very little time is spent on this before we snap back to the modern day and the big fight that will fill the story for the remainder of the book. In an interesting turn (which I won’t give away here), we discover that there are a great deal of metahumans on this Earth, each one a dark reflection of their Earth Prime counterpart. Now I must admit I have a weakness for evil redesigns of characters, so this stood out to me as a personal highlight. However, even with my bias towards such a thing, I was disappointed by Kieran McKeown’s designs. Whereas the core characters have similar but distinctively different costumes from their heroic counterparts, these extras have essentially the exact same design.
Throughout this battle, we get to see most of the Syndicate interacting, so we get a real sense of the dynamics at play. This is definitely a strong point of the issue, with writer Andy Schmidt getting to play with the interpersonal relationships that are key to this team. Sadly we don’t get too much of this (fighting to be done and whatnot) but it does set the stage for some great moments in the back half of the series. Longtime fans of the Crime Syndicate will know that there is always plenty of drama going on between the team, and it will be fun to explore how that all got started.
In each issue, we have had a backup story looking into the origins of each member of the group, and this week was no exception with the spotlight on Donna Troy AKA Superwoman. In a sensible if not boring choice, this Earth’s Donna Troy is given a similar origin to that of Earth Prime’s Diana Prince AKA Wonder Woman. This isn’t surprising, as Donna’s origin is a bit more complex and tricky to outline in a short four page story, but I can’t understand why they have chosen to create this new Superwoman if they were just going to do a carbon copy of the original.
In summary, the story is starting to come together and the back half of the series looks to be a fun look at the early days of the Crime Syndicate we know and love, but poor character designs and lazy writing are still holding the series back from true greatness.
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