Home > Top Cow > City of Heroes (2005 Series) #12

City of Heroes (2005 Series) #12

April 16, 2006

Quick Rating: Very Good
Title: Trading Places Part Three

Manticore versus the Freedom Phalanx?

Writer: David Wohl
Pencils: David Nakayama
Inks: Roland Paris, John Livesay & Ryan Winn
Colors: Blond & Tyson Wengler
Letters: Troy Peteri
Cover Art: Rodolfo Migliari
Publisher: Image Comics/Top Cow

Another arc ends for City of Heroes (are they all going to be three issues?) and again really helps to cement these characters as heroes and warriors in their own right, not just generic pastiches of Marvel or DC characters. Manticore has pretended to turn on the Freedom Phalanx, even going so far as to fake kidnapped Sister Psyche and deliver her into the clutches of Lord Recluse.

The massive battle that erupts in Siren’s Call this issue is the sort of thing that this comic has the potential to do very well – while the story is enormous, the scope is actually pretty small. It’s like reading a big “Justice League/Teen Titans” team-up slugfest but viewing the whole thing through the eyes of just one character. And because this book doesn’t necessarily have any superstars, you can get away with telling the story this way in a way you couldn’t with those better-known teams.

Another thing you don’t get when the story is the Justice League? The chance to see your own character show up – at the end we get a nice shot of the Freedom Phalanx with other heroes of Paragon City, characters created by game players. It’s a nice touch, one that makes the comic feel even more like part of the game.

David Nakayama’s artwork is really strong, although he does succumb to the temptation to do the cheesecake shot at times. (I mean really, why would Sister Psyche charge into battle against Lord Recluse standing with her back to him except to show off her butt?) But overall he handles superhero storytelling very well, in a very consistent fashion.

This is your basic, old-fashioned superhero story, with the twist that the heroes involved are ones you may have teamed up with yourself. That’s what makes this comic so much fun.

Rating: 8/10

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