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Villains United based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Villains United is another countdown to the Infinite Crisis storyline that takes place in the aftermath of Identity Crisis. Like 'Day of Vengeance' Villains United focuses on lesser known characters, this time villains who would are not even considered third-stringers (with the exception of Deadshot). Unlike Day of Vengeance, however, this book has a fairly comprehensible storyline and is paced quite well, even if the motivation is a bit flimsy. As the villains come to the realization that the JLA has tampered with the minds of Doctor Light and others, giving them magical lobotomies to erase their memories, they find themselves banding together for revenge. And this is the flimsy part...these guys have been on the receiving end of butt-kickings by the heroes for years. They've been tossed into prison, Arkham Asylum, and places far worse (in the case of Sinestro), and some have even been killed. But hey...mess with our minds, damn it, and we're coming after you! OK, that thin impetus aside, Lex Luthor gathers a ruling body of six to form a society to recruit all the villains on the planet to oppose the heroes. The six include Luthor, Black Adam, Talia Al Ghul, The Calculator, Dr. Psycho, and Deathstroke. Nearly all the worlds villains join...some willingly, some with a bit of coercion, until over three hundred are united in this society. Yet there are a Secret Six who refused to join and stand opposed to them. This group consists of Deadshot, Catman (who's been given an extreme makeover), Ragdoll, Para-Demon, Cheshire, and Scandal the daughter of Vandal Savage. They are commanded by the mysterious Mockingbird who has forced each of them to give their obedience by making threats against their family or other means, and have taken the House of Secrets as their headquarters. This diverse band of misfits soon finds themselves in direct confrontation with Luthor's group and as one might expect, the results are not in their favor and they are soon captured and tortured. But they show remarkable resilience and resourcefulness that even Luthor admires. Villains United does not feature one single superhero, other than a brief appearance by Green Arrow near the end of the story. While some may bemoan a series which features primarily lower tier characters, I found it rather refreshing. This can be a dicey prospect if not handled correctly. Writer Gail Simone infused each of these characters with life and personality and actually made you care about what happened to them. We certainly saw a human side to Deadshot that we've never seen before. The interplay between the characters was often humorous and witty. Likewise Dr. Psycho provided a great deal of comic relief on the Luthor side with his sadistic fascination with getting revenge on Catman for turning down the group's offer to join. While perhaps a bit improbable, Villains United was still a fun read and fit in well with the events that preceded it. The art by Dale Eaglesham, Val Semeiks, Wade von Grawbadger and Prentis Rollins was very solid without being overpowering. Along with the OMAC Project this has been the best post-Identity Crisis storyline thus far. Call it 4 1/2 stars. Reviewed by Tim Janson