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    Reviews - Armageddon: Inferno - #3

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The story is improving - mellotron12
With the third installment, John Ostrander has improved the story. He finally gives a real reason for readers to care. Nevermind the villain Abraxis. Little has been seen of him, no one knows who he is, and he is at the moment powerless. Nevermind the hodgepodge of heroes thrown together to fight Abraxis' daemen in various moments of our time continuum. This is about the return of the Justice Society into DC continuity. They were stuck in limbo, forced to relive the battle of Ragnarok ad infinitum (as explained here but depicted in "Last Days of the Justice Society Special #1," 1986). Before now, they would make visits to the present from the 1940s.
So, the point of "Armageddon: Inferno" is to bring the Golden Age heroes (the Justice Society) into the present (the 1990s). It has nothing to do with "Armageddon 2001," other than that it features Waverider. Before this story, the Justice Society had appeared in "All Star Squadron," which was set in the Golden Age. After "Crisis On Infinite Earths," continuity was made difficult since it was made clear that the Justice Society were Earth-2 heroes. These heroes made appearances in the 1960s up to present day, but only as time-displaced individuals. This story would firmly plant them in the Modern Age. So, this makes the story relevant, at least.
Art still suffers. Luke McDonnell and Bruce Solotoff's work is still incomplete, with vague or absent backgrounds and poorly drawn figures. Art Adams and Terry Austin's pages are better. Ostrander's script calls for the heroes to fight shadow figures and some new villains, like Lightning Whip. These characters are uninteresting and irrelevant, thus the art is uninteresting as well. The most interesting battle scene is in the age of dinosaurs with Enemy Ace. Ostrander gives this guy some real potential, and Simonson's choice of angle and perspective provide a desperately needed moment of excitement.
In sum, the mini-series started out as a near train wreck. When Ostrander reveals that the purpose of the story is to bring back the Justice Society, the book finally has relevance. However, the story suffers from too many artists, poor artists, too many characters, and lack of pace and focus in battle scenes.




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