Friday, May 18, 2012

GUNFIRE #5 - September 1994

The Day of the Exomorphic Man
Credits: Len Wein (writer), Steve Erwin (layouts), Brian Garvey (finishes), Bob Lappan (letterer), Martin Thomas (colorist)

Summary: Gunfire is released from prison on the condition that he continues adventuring when the police need his help. Meanwhile, Gunfire’s aunt Lacey retrieves the remains of Slater. Using Van Horn Industries technology, she reanimates him as the Exomorphic Man. Lacey sends the disoriented Exomorphic Man to stop Andrew before he can publicly announce that V.H.I. will no longer produce weapons, unaware that the press conference has already been cancelled. As Gunfire, Andrew shows Exomorphic Man his face in the mirror after their fight, which leads to him deliriously falling several stories out of an open window.

Irrelevant Continuity:
· Gunfire mentions odd events that are happening around the globe, such as “the fall of Metropolis” and numerous dinosaur sightings. He also hears his deceased father’s voice later on in the issue, an event he dismisses as a part of the global oddities. Presumably, these are Zero Hero tie-ins, since this comic is filled with ads for the event.
· Gunfire can now fly, thanks to the new armor upgrades created by Benjamin and Yvette.
· Yvette is mysteriously broke, and Lacey Van Horn is somehow using this to her advantage by allowing Yvette to live in her mansion.

I Love the ‘90s: We see a couple of giant car phones this issue, as Lacey tries to contact her assistant Meagan and cancel Exomorphic Man’s attack after she discovers the press conference has been cancelled.

Review: Since this is the last issue before the Zero Hero-related #0, why doesn’t the story end with whiteness consuming the world, followed by several all-white pages? Or did that only happen in the issue of Robin I have from this cover month? Anyway…

Gunfire’s journey as a reluctant hero continues, as he’s forced to prolong his role as Gunfire in order to avoid jail. That’s a respectable angle for Wein to play out, and he adds another wrinkle by revealing that Gunfire’s associates, Benjamin and Yvette, don’t really want to continue doing this, especially if they’re being pressured by the police into helping. Wein also introduces another supporting character subplot, as the audience learns that Yvette has somehow gone broke and must turn to Gunfire’s shady aunt for help. Lacey Van Horn so far comes across as a typical soap opera villainess, but she is humanized a bit by her edict that Exomorphic Man merely scare her nephew and not kill him. And speaking of Exomorphic Man…hey, at least he’s not another ‘90s Guy in Armor. Erwin and Garvey do a great job on his visual, and I’m glad they’re getting something else to draw. Steve Erwin is the kind of underappreciated Buescma-style artist that unfortunately began to disappear during the mid-‘90s, so I’m glad DC hasn’t replaced him yet. Oh, wait. It’s his last issue? Never mind.


Anonymous said...

The 'fade to white' effect was only in books released the fourth week of the month, so I presume that Gunfire was released earlier in the month. But books like Robin, Showcase '94, Catwoman, Action Comics, etc, all had the fade to white ending, along with Zero Hour #1. I thought it was a pretty cool effect to tie everything together.

Matt said...

I just noticed you're concurrently reviewing comics by the Lens Wein and Strazewski. You need to get Kaminski involved somehow too, and have an "All Len Spectacular" week.

G. Kendall said...

You might just see comics by that other Len reviewed on here one day.

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