It’s fitting that “redemption” of Prometheus begins almost eleven years to the month after his debut as part of DC’s “New Year’s Evil” series of one-shots devoted to villains in another one-shot that’s part of a DC event devoted to villains, “Faces of Evil.” The decade since his first appearance has not been kind to Prometheus, as he began strong by taking down the entire JLA and forming a new Injustice Gang with Lex Luthor but, since, he’s been treated like a third-class loser instead of the nearly-unstoppable menace Grant Morrison created him to be.
But, that appears to be changing as the real Prometheus is back. Yeah, that’s right, the real Prometheus. Sterling Gates explains away the post-“JLA” appearances of Prometheus quickly by revealing that the real Prometheus was put on a mental loop by the Martian Manhunter during the Mageddon threat and has been institutionalized ever since. But, with the Martian Manhunter’s recent death in “Final Crisis” #1, Prometheus is released from his mental prison.
Overall, this issue doesn’t do much beyond recap Prometheus’s origin, explain away everything done with the character after Morrison, and return Prometheus to a strong threat-level in order to set up his appearance in James Robinson’s “Justice League” later this year. That may not seem like much, but it’s done with skill and only the most minor of retcons.
However, the level of violence here is great and far more brutal than Prometheus showed earlier. It’s actually very typical of the current tone in the DCU, which may alienate some. If the thought of Prometheus setting someone on fire makes you queasy, this comic isn’t for you. And, in some ways, it does seem a little extreme, but it also seems necessary to get over the last several years of the character’s history.
Federico Dallocchio’s art is very distinctive in a very painterly manner. It looks very good, but, as a result of the style he uses, figures sometimes look a little too posed and stiff. But, other panels are beautiful and intricately rendered, so much so that they stop you and force you to just stare. As well, the way he constructs panel shots is very interesting, often opting to close-in on characters so that they don’t appear entirely within a panel. It’s a very interesting approach that gives even the most mundane panels a sense of immediacy they would otherwise lack.
For those who have been wanting the return of the Prometheus of Grant Morrison’s “JLA,” rejoice, because he has returned to take his rightful place near the top of villain pile.
(Federico Dallocchio’s unique art is almost worth the price of the comic alone, so give it a look in CBR’s preview!)