Well, I'll be pleasantly surprised. Eric Trautmann and Brandon Jerwa have hit their stride with The Mighty Crusaders, specifically in this issue. As this mini-series closes in on another issue that gradually culminates to its conclusion, a lot can be seen that proves that this saga is one of DC's most underrated opus for 2010. And despite its shaky start as a knockoff of Secret Invasion, the story seems to be gradually cohesive, and taking a life on its own. Redundant intro aside, here's my review of The Mighty Crusaders #4.
Picking up where Issue #3 left off, Trautmann and Jerwa deliver a strong script that manages to get in touch with all the players involved in this issue. From the witty remarks of The Web, to the savagery of both War Eagle and Jaguar, this issue has manage to eclipse itself above its predecessors, with an amazing art to boot, compliments of Carlos Rodriguez, who does raise the quality of the interior art of the mini-series in spades, easily surpassing Julian Lopez's previous contributions. Script-wise, the guys who steal the show on a consistent note are the Comet and the Fox, albeit they're just shown for a couple of pages. Their interaction with each other keeps giving new life to this book, not to detract anything from the story's main plot. As a matter of fact, it manages to translate into the main plot, to pleasant results, by Persian singing the Turtle Boy song against the Crusaders. A surprise in this issue, is how it manages to show the human side of certain characters, namely Fly-Girl and War Eagle. Their bouts of arachnophobia and voracious loyalty to their teammates, respectively, give these gals another layer of interest towards their characters, that pushes away from the misconceived perception of being reworked reincarnations of the Archie based super-heroes. All in all, the story, and even its small sub-plots, make this issue possibly, the best of the mini-series, so far.
Could it be a strange coincidence or could it be done or purpose? Inferno seems to be the only player out of the whole bunch that seems to lack importance to the story, overall. The execution of the plot in this issue seems a little wonky every now and then, dangerously leaning onto the verge of inconsistency. The Eraser's part in this story, while it was on good intentions to having screaming like he was stark-raving mad, in the end, that's how he's portrayed, as a stark-raving mad lunatic. And the introduction of Lady Sheba, while it's supposed to be eventful, in some sense, doesn't really appeal to the reader in the moment that she's introduced and shown.
As I said in the beginning of the review, this issue is essentially the best of the bunch. Now, this mini-series can no longer be panned as a Secret Invasion rip-off, but as The Mighty Crusaders, for this issue clearly resounds that sentiment with some fresh and witty dialogue, stunning interior art, and a overall great quality to complete this book. If you enjoy the resurgence of the Red Circle, give this issue a shot. 4.5/5 GREAT BUY