REVIEW CORNER: The Red Circle: The Web # 1

The Red Circle: The Web # 1
Writer: J. Michael Stracyznski
Penciller: Roger Robinson
Inker: Hilary Barta
(Artists on Final Page: Scott McDaniel & Andy Owens)
Colorist: Guy Major
Letterer: Pat Brosseau
Cover Date: October 2009
This week I’ll look at “The Red Circle: The Web”; Part of a series of one-shots that reintroduce the classic Red Circle characters after the not-so-successful launch of the Impact Comics line in 1991. This time around? DC brought in J. Michael Straczynski to oversee the imprint so let’s find out if this is a hit or a miss…
We’re introduced to John Raymond who, after inheriting a corporation worth a billion dollars, decides to become a superhero but another factor comes from the fact that his own father wasn’t as fond of him as his brother, with who John has a complicated relationship to where they don’t see eye-to-eye. Right away, you’ll find such humor in John’s method of crimefighting which includes airing some commercials and telling people to visit his website. Yeah, it feels like JMS took elements from Booster Gold and incorporated them into The Web but it just succeeds in watering down the development of John Raymond instead of adding something fresh to the equation. I should also point out that most of JMS’ script feels like it could have been featured in one of those cheesy 80s action movies such as The Web facing off against his own arch-nemesis in the form of a wheelchair-bound loan shark (Turns out John’s brother has some serious gambling debts) it’s downright silly but in some way, the readers are supposed to take this seriously but ultimately falls flat in its execution which doesn’t help matters.
The Web is Batman, Booster Gold, and Green Arrow rolled into one which no doubt has that cool factor attached to it but with JMS attached to this one-shot all the fun and brilliant aspects that he brought to his writing, specifically his timeless run on “Amazing Spider-Man”, is basically lost in translation so while the premise is exciting and promising for fans who love The Red Circle, it looks like DC once again fumbled with the handling with these characters but I’m glad that these one-shots and the ongoings were available during that time because it now paves the way for more passionate creators to work their magic with the Red Circle but for anyone who was getting into comic books will find joy in these one-shots, especially the adventures of The Web.
Well, that’s it for me. Thanks for sticking around and I’ll be back with a new review.

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