By  Adam Basciano

A small group of high-ranking military personnel meet in The Pentagon, and discuss the aliens after Cole Cash.  It turns out that the first appearance of these not so friendly visitors, occurred five years ago.  The first appearance caused little more than a radio signal disturbance, while their second appearance led to the disappearance of a congressman.  All that has led to the current events plaguing Cole Cash.  Speaking of Cole, he’s in the midst of a standoff with his brother Max in the middle of a road in California.  Meanwhile, Cole’s lady-friend Gretchen has made her way to Gotham City, but is abducted by two men in black suits (not Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones.) Just as Cole starts getting through to his brother, they are attacked.  As Cole struggles with the attacker, his brother is killed by an out of control helicopter. Cole manages to kill the assailant, and then holds the on looking alien at gunpoint demanding answers.  Gretchen is interrogated, but when she refuses, she is dropped in an underground tunnel.

Let me preface my upcoming comments by saying that I liked this issue.  Having said that, this issue feels very much like the middle part of a pre-determined trilogy of films.  The pacing if a bit off.  It feels like a lot happens in this issue, but there’s more standing around talking then you would think.  A really strong character shift occurs in this issue.  Over the course of the first two issues Cole has been one step behind his adversaries, often on the run from them. This issue he takes a stand against them, and by issues end is actually on the hunt for them.  It’s the classic exploration of the flight or fight response.

While the pace of the story slowed slightly, the art is still running on full speed.  The art continues to have a cinematic feel to it.  My favourite scene is the standoff between Cole and his brother.  There was more tension in those scenes, then I’ve seen certain movies attempt to create.  This is my favourite cover of the series so far.  It perfectly sums up what happens in the issue, and on second look really does lend itself nicely to my fight or flight comments above.

Next issue should be a fun read.  Watching the hard-headed and strong-willed personalities of Grifter and Green Arrow interact should be quite entertaining.

Overall Grade: 7.5/10

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