This series has vexed me from the start. Magog was the antithesis of what a DC hero should be when he was first introduced in "Kingdom Come." Since then, the DC Universe has changed so drastically that the character actually had a role to fill. Or so it seemed. No sooner had the "Justice Society of America" issues featuring Magog's first handful of appearances been collected than DC declared a "Magog" series was on the horizon.
The best thing about Magog, however, was that he was in "Kingdom Come."
Giffen chose not to play that up, so the character winds up fighting "tribbles with teeth" (as Magog's pal, Axel, calls them), or madballs (I call them as I see them). I'm not sure which they're supposed to be. At any rate, the attacking collective they spawn from gets scared of Magog -– based on reputation it gathers from the ethernet! –- and turns tail. In a universe populated by world-beaters and planet destroyers (not to mention the good guys!) the fact that a being would find Magog threatening enough to stand down from is just silly. Maybe Giffen was going all metaphorical on the fans, using the fanged hairballs as analogs for fanboys and the collective is the direct market or maybe even the online community. If that's the case, this story would be a little more intriguing. Taken at face value, though, it's just dumb.
Derenick's art is serviceable, full of detail and action-packed. Once the flying toupees enter the scene, however, anyone would have a hard time selling it. Derenick tends to draw really heroic-looking heroes and really heroic-looking everybody else. The end result is a book in which everyone looks special, which makes no one special. Hi-Fi's colors are over the top in this issue with loud greens, bold reds and more garish pink than the Barbie aisle at Toys R Us.
The formula was available for this series to be more successful: Magog + "Kingdom Come" characters = success. At least it would have been successful for a short period of time, which is more than this book can say. With only a few more issues left, under the pen of Scott Kolins, DC appears ready to admit the fact that the Kingdom Magog comes from should have been a heavier factor in this series. Here's hoping so.