Friday, January 30, 2015

The H.A.R.D. Corps #21 and #22 (Classic Valiant)

The majority of the paramilitary HARD Corps team are celebrating the birthday of their colleague Flatline, but unfortunately the festivities are interrupted when old 'enemy' Earl Simkus arrives. He needs their help, but before he can elaborate, the teams' restaurant is attacked by Star Soldiers-Men in tough mechanical suits. What's worse it that the Star Squad have a signal dampener over the entire city block, ensuring that the HARD Corps can't access their superpowers...

This two-parter of HARD Corps is mixed. On one hand, it's not badly written, but it's really only a single action scene dragged out over two issues. There's barely any plot, and what little there is has zero payoff, as Midnight leaves the story at the end, with nothing having been accomplished besides some bad guys getting killed. We don't even know why the Star Squad wanted Earl to begin with!

Thankfully the proceedings at least aren't without some consequence, as Heydrich is further embittered at the old team thanks to the story's events, which becomes important as the series goes on.

There's some entertaining action here, and it's all that sustains the story. The characters have little to them, as the story's real time status ensures that there's little time for anything like that. The only exceptions are Hotshot and Flatline, but the latter's is incredibly rushed, while the former's is a continuity error. Hotshot tells Sam how she had a husband until he was killed, but in a previous issue, she asks Shakespeare how to cope with the death of a friend, as she's never experienced losing anyone before.

Earl's appearance in this story may be the instigator for its events, but he adds nothing to it, and leaves just as quickly as he arrived.

One thing to note, I find it a bit of a downer that not only does the Star Squad utterly destroy Shakespeare's restaurant, but also that this whole encounter interrupts Flatline's birthday party!

The art here is decent, and has a few cool moments, while the covers are mixed. Issue #21's is ok, but a bit empty and generic, while #22's is better, but lacks any kind of background.

While a mixed bag, this is still a fun two-parter, and is worth a read...

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