Thursday, May 24, 2012

GUNFIRE #6 - November 1994

It’s all done with Mirrors
Credits: Len Wein (writer), Ed Benes (penciler), Brian Garvey & Rus Sever (inkers), Lois Buhalis (letterer), Martin Thomas (colorist)

Summary: Gunfire investigates one of Ragnarok’s warehouses, only to get caught in a trap. He narrowly escapes, leaving with no answers. Elsewhere, his aunt Lacey hires Mirror Master to stop him from announcing Van Horn Industries’ conversion from munitions to alternative energy. As Andrew Van Horn, Gunfire hires the Gemini siblings as bodyguards. When they’re unable to stop Mirror Master from invading the press conference, Gunfire steps in. Using his armor’s technology, he sees past Mirror Master’s tricks and defeats him. Meanwhile, Benjamin is ambushed by his twin brother in his apartment.

Irrelevant Continuity: Mirror Master is upset that someone has been impersonating him. A footnote points to Justice League of America #90.

Review: This is the virtually the same plot from two issues ago, only now the comedy of errors element is gone. Lacey’s back to order more (non-lethal) hitmen to target Andrew before he can give that important speech, and this time she has the date right. The first absurd assumption is that stopping a press conference is actually going to stop a business plan from going forward. As if Apple would’ve never sold an iPad if that original press conference had been interrupted by a 1960s Flash villain. The second is the new direction that Gunfire is forcing upon V.H.I. Wein uses comic book pseudo-science relatively well to justify the switch (a giant laser is now going to be used to explore geothermal energy instead of cutting people into pieces), but how is V.H.I. going to totally change operations in one day? How can the business afford to stay open during the period when it isn’t selling weapons but has no geothermal energy to sell, either? Was this business model dreamed up by Ben or Jerry?

So, the basic plot has problems, but it’s nice to see Gunfire face another non-armored foe, his second in seven issues. Mirror Master is an unexpected choice for Gunfire to fight, and while it’s not hard to figure out how this battle is going to end, Wein has some fun with the action. I don’t know if the Gemini siblings have a compelling reason to be in the story, but there’s a certain logic behind their appearance. If Gunfire truly is a reluctant hero, and he’s rich, it would make sense for him to hire bodyguards to take care of all of the fights he’d rather avoid. That doesn’t mean that Gemini siblings are a gripping concept on their own, though. I get the sense that they’ve appeared in some other series and I’m supposed to be carrying over some existing fondness for them. All I know about them from reading this issue is that they’re freakishly tall, tan, and can’t take on Mirror Master. I’d ask for a refund, Andrew. You’re going to need that money soon, anyway.

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