Who killed Empathy? The Crisis Command may not like the answer as they try to save this planet from being destroyed like the others in the Multiverse. If you thought you can’t do anything new in super hero comics, you need to read Commanders in Crisis.
The Crisis Command has been on the hunt for Empathy’s murderer. Empathy is not the name of another hero; it’s the actual idea of caring for other people. Facing off against this new foe reveals who has been pulling the strings from the shadows as well as a new, yet familiar face. The truth about this Earth is exposed and it could shatter what’s left of this team and the multiverse as a whole.
This is an entirely new super hero universe that jumped right into a mega event so there’s a ton of ground to cover. Writer Steve Orlando packs Commanders in Crisis #4 with so much information. It can almost be overwhelming at times, yet there’s more than enough to grab your attention. While this can occasionally be a little text heavy, the bombshells dropped make up for it.
A chunk of this issue is a tense stand off as the Crisis Command first finds out who murdered Empathy and then the truth about why they’ve all been brought to this world. The former is interesting enough on its own, but the latter is what really drives home the story.
Letterer Fabio Amelia guides us through a whole lot of exposition in such a way to focus our eye on key images throughout the issue. Although you’ll spend more time with these bigger balloons, it’s the smaller ones that have the most impact. There’s a nice bit at the end where a sentence is broken up in four balloons over four panels so you can imagine it being said in a measured way that really resonates.
This isn’t to say Commanders in Crisis #4 is without action. Artist Davide Tinto goes all out in an impressive showdown that highlights each of the team member’s strengths and abilities. Since we’re still learning about them, fight scenes like this are also used to tell us more about who these people are. There’s a great segment with Prizefighter that gives us a literal glimpse into his past in the midst of battle.
What I love most about Tinto’s designs for these characters is how natural they look. These heroes aren’t made of muscles and boobs. They’re real people. Sure, they’re in good shape, but they’re not over the top. You can see them living in our world.
With the exception of the energy blasts fired during battle, colorist Francesca Carotenuto uses a somewhat muted template for Commanders in Crisis #4. It’s fitting as we’re dealing with a world without empathy. Of course it would feel a little less bright and shiny. It’s not quite the doom and gloom of Gotham City. Hope is still there.
It’s hard to do something new in super hero comics, but Commanders in Crisis is blazing its own trail and it’s pretty cool. It’s introduced some big, bold ideas and it’s delivering on them every step of the way. This can be a little text-heavy at times, but it’s worth it for this epic story.