Writer: Andy Schmidt
Art: Kieran McKeown
Colors: Steve Oliff
Letters: Bob Leigh
Release Date: 4/6/21
What would an inverse version of the Justice League of America (JLA) look like? This question has been pondered since the Justice League’s first appearance back in the swinging ’60s. Over the years we have received various answers to the question. Some more memorable than others. The limited series Crime Syndicate has once again presented a different version of the League. Thus far, this version is not necessarily “bad”, BUT they have the potential. With that being said, let us take a peek into Andy Schmidt’s second issue of Crime Syndicate.
If you’re interested in Crime Syndicate #2 or any of the others mentioned, simply click on the title/link to snag a copy through Amazon.
Ok, a lot of people have talked trash about a grown man running around in a bat outfit beating on crazy gardeners and deranged clowns. BUT the “alternate version” of The World’s Greatest Detective (I love that nickname) is legitimately ridiculous. Owl Man broods in what he calls his “Owl Nest” ultimately doing the same things the B-Man does: trying to save the world. His counterparts (Ultraman, Superwoman, President Queen, etc) on the other hand, are a bit more fun. President Queen and Superwoman (you will be surprised where she is actually from) have a natural chemistry as they trade innuendos. Ultraman does remind me of the Last Son of Krypton to an extent. He comes off as slightly self-absorbed and cocky with his abilities. This is a version of Superman that I would like to see in the regular DC Universe. It is natural in a sense because we know he (regular Superman) is always being modest. I mean, it’s Superman. The dude is really powerful. Then of course you have Starro because when you have a team with an owl guy, you need Patrick Star’s older brother. I have never taken Starro seriously. Like seriously…Never. So, to see him (her?) resurging so prominently within the last few weeks (The Suicide Squad trailer and this issue) is odd. However, Schmidt does a pretty stellar job with utilizing Starro as the big bad.
Normally I do not go into detail about artwork too heavily, but the art team went all out for this issue. The colors seem to pop off of the page. It’s like the world is drawing itself. Now often, I will read comics and the background looks like the background characters in a YuYu Hakusho. They are ovals or blurry blobs. McKeown does the complete opposite here. This issue is detailed to the point that you could even create your own story about the background characters themselves.
Crime Syndicate is just getting started, I know for a fact there is a lot more to be offered. We have Superwoman with a barbed wire Lasso of Truth and an owl dude who lurks in a nest. I KNOW this is going to be an interesting story. However, I feel as if the character traits that normally redeem the JLA are all missing and that’s where the Crime Syndicate fits in. Everything from the outfits the Syndicate wears (very reminiscent of the JLA) to the “background reading” (you will see what I mean if you read this story), the second issue is another step up the proverbial ladder.
Honestly, you could either read this issue OR skip it for now. Certain stories (such as this one) make a lot of sense when you do a “binge-read session.” Either way, I am hooked and am patiently waiting for issue 3! Lastly, this almost serves as an answer to that James Gunn and Kenneth Huang movie Bright Burn. If you have NOT seen it, go ahead and venture to your local Blockbuster and rent it today… Just kidding, stream it somewhere! It has been out since 2019. Happy reading!