by Taylor Anderson
This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!
Just as surely as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, Steven Soderbergh will reemerge from “retirement” now and again to make another heist movie. One can’t blame him for this: heist movies are fun, and Soderbergh has shown that he’s become very good at making them. Still, why is it that our thirst for these can’t be sated? Is it seeing familiar faces from different walks of life team-up? The notion of stealing for a just cause like Robin Hood? Or perhaps it’s serving comeuppance to someone who deserves it. Whatever the reason may be, the heist story is here to stay, and, as Donny Cates and Nick Spencer show, is easily transferable to the superhero genre.
Wong is assembling a team of dark superheroes to rescue Stephen Strange from the evil clutches of Mephisto, who is enjoying a stay up on Earth thanks to Strange’s resurrection of the lost city of Las Vegas. The team that Wong enlists are all heroes who skirt the morality scale and/or are undead, the idea here being that Mephisto won’t be able to corrupt their souls since that’s happened already.
It’s unclear how this will actually prevents Mephisto from claiming their souls but that seems besides the point. The point here is that we have Blade on a team with Man-Thing and that’s just fun, at least in principle. The reality however, is a little different. Aside from some playful banter between Blade and Elsa Bloodstone about the difference between killing demons and vampires, the team seems to have little charisma. That doesn’t necessarily doom this issue, but it takes a lot of potential enjoyment out of it. Part of the reason Ocean’s 11, the Fast and Furious and other heist movies are fun is the team-up aspect. There’s something to be enjoyed when seeing a group of disparate people come together to achieve a difficult goal. That’s missing here, so while the heist to steal Strange from Mephisto is still on, the vibe is just a little off.
The conversation doesn’t stop there. What do you wanna talk about from this issue?