Commanders In Crisis #1: Code Green

If Vision was rich in theme, but otherwise just okay and American Ronin #1 was sturdy but unremarkable, Commanders In Crisis #1 pales in comparison to both. If I'm charitable, Commanders In Crisis #1 is a great example of how difficult it is to do Grant Morrison-esque big ideas in the superhero genre. Commanders In Crisis writer Steve Orlando throws a bunch of ideas at the reader, figuring one of them must be worth something. The issue's twist made me roll my eyes, and when I showed it to my partner, I watched her eyes roll in disbelief, too.

Commanders In Crisis #1: Code Green
The cover of Commanders In Crisis #1. Credit: Image Comics

Penciller Davide Tinto's work is energetic. I didn't notice any color that seemed out of place, so colorist Francesca Carotenuto did a good job.

Commanders In Crisis #1 features a super-team ala the Justice League, and they team up to fight, wait for it, cosmic sepsis, which they diagnose from dead people. There's a couple of baffling character moments, the highlight of which must be the one where the character called Sawbones. He is described as an Action Surgeon, which admittedly has a Warren Ellis-like elan. He figuratively waltzes into a North Philadelphia hospital carrying a sniper rifle and shoots a random patient resisting treatment with a sedative round from a magnetic pistol.

The nurses don't seem too concerned that an unidentified male who says he's not a doctor packing more heaters than the top of the stove just attacked their patient.

To give Orlando his due, if this was Batman, we'd grant the writer some leeway for a cool Batman moment. The trouble is, Orlando and Co. don't hit that cool moment. They aim for E.R., but by virtue of Sawbones invading an emergency department with enough guns to end up on Ammon Bundy's ranch, they land on absurdly comic.

That about sums up the reading experience of Commanders In Crisis #1; I've enjoyed some of Orlando's previous Image works (Virgil leaps to mind), but this first issue of Commanders In Crisis just did not click.