For those of us unable to make it to San Diego this year, Joe Casey and ChrisCross have it covered in the third issue of “Final Crisis Aftermath: Dance” with a wonderfully funny look at a convention in Dubai devoted to the Super Young Team. I don’t know if the timing of this issue hitting shelves this week was planned, but it is definitely one of the best instances of good timing in comics.
Casey continues to craft excellent done-in-one-ish comics with each issue so far having its own beginning, middle, and end, while also advancing the various subplots that will, no doubt, pay off in issues five and/or six. As well, each issue has focused on the Super Young Team dealing with an event set up to increase their fame, while shifting them away from actual heroics. Wisely, in each case, Casey makes sure a villain of some kind pops up, but each victory seems pre-ordained and requires little effort on the group’s part.
This structure would be more annoying if it weren’t for Casey’s inventive dialogue and strong character work. The Super Young Team convention allows the group to confront how others see them and roleplay their fantasies through proxies. We know that Big Atomic Lantern Boy loves Shiny Happy Aquazon who, in turn, loves Well-Spoken Sonic Lightning Flash, so Casey has both Atomic Lantern and Aquazon hook up with convention goers who are dressed up like the objects of their affections. The results are, predictably, less than ideal for both.
Most Excellent Superbat continues to receive the most on-panel focus with his Twitter posts and another vision of Ultimon-Alpha who instructs him to become the hero he should be. Superbat’s lethargy and general disillusionment with his current lifestyle also continues as he seduces a woman dressed in his costume. Unlike the two heroes he’s patterned himself on, Superbat’s path is unclear; the way in which he simply watches his teammates confront this issue’s villain ends with him Tweeting, “Sometimes I feel nothing,” an odd sentiment for a hero, but one that reflects his youth well.
After his much-missed absence last issue, ChrisCross returns here and reminds us all what we were missing. This is a book of high, over-the-top drama much of the time and ChrisCross knocks those scenes out of the park. He has a lot of fun with the convention setting, especially the one fan that dresses as Shy Crazy Lolita Canary, which is one of the funniest panels you’re likely to see all year. He even manages to make sure those dressed as the Super Young Team look distinct enough to tell them apart from the real deals. Hopefully, the rest of the series continues with him on board.
In “Dance,” Joe Casey and ChrisCross are at their best, delivering action, thrills, laughs, and even the odd moment of introspection. And, in this issue, a very San Diego appropriate issue that will make some long to be at the convention and, others, glad they’re at home.