Friday, October 26, 2012

SCARE TACTICS #8 - July 1997

Weird Load (Convergence Part Four)
Credits: Len Kaminski (writer), Anthony Williams (penciler), Andy Lanning (inker), Pat Prentice (letterer), James Sinclair (colorist)

Summary: Fate and Sentinel explain to the Scare Tactics that the Conclave’s power is being usurped by a mystery entity. Etrigan, who’s already met the team, senses Topaz is spying on the group as an insect. He forces Topaz to reveal himself, just as “Sentinel” reveals himself as an Emerald agent. He unleashes an army of Emerald Shocktroopers that are soon defeated. However, Scare Tactics member Jimmy is left mortally wounded.

Irrelevant Continuity: Fate already knows the Scare Tactics team, and apparently had a role in their creation when he broke them out of something called the “R-Complex.”

I Love the ‘90s: Nina of the Scare Tactics likes Fate’s outfit. Not.

Total N00B: I have no idea if this group is actually called “Scare Tactics,” and at no point in the story is their connection to Fate and Etrigan made clear. In fact, the basic premise of the series is never explained.

Review: How could this be the final chapter of the crossover? Absolutely nothing is resolved! I sometimes wonder if DC even wanted new readers in the first place…honestly, if you’ve never read Scare Tactics before, why would you ever want to buy another issue after reading this? And I say this as a fan of Len Kaminski. The reader is left with no clear idea on what the premise of the title is, what most of the characters are named, or why any of these events are happening. I remember ads for Scare Tactics that promoted it as a group of monsters that pose as a rock band…a ridiculous premise, but one that could work well as a comic. (I certainly hope the werewolf with a nose ring is supposed to be a joke, though.) Imagine what any reader who was curious about the title must’ve thought if he picked up this issue in order to complete the crossover. Not only do you learn essentially nothing about the book, but the main story that’s supposed to be concluding in this chapter isn’t anywhere close to being resolved. At least the Challengers of the Unknown chapter told a story that was engaging on its own merits, even if the issue did little to spell out what the Challengers are supposed to be. This is essentially an issue long fight scene, starring a group of characters the creators just assume you already care about.

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