Commanders In Crisis #5: Don't Believe The Hype

Image comic Commanders In Crisis returns this month with this issue, #5, being the start of a new story arc. What do owners Steve Orlando and Arancia Studio s.n.c. bring to the table this time around? Is this a good hopping on point?

Commanders In Crisis #5 Review: Wildly, Boldly Ambitious
Commanders In Crisis #5 Cover. Credit: Image Comics

My partner and I re-read all five issues of Commanders In Crisis to ensure that we gave the series as fair a shot as possible. I can therefore say I cannot recommend #5 as a jumping-on point. In fact, it's difficult for me to recommend Commanders In Crisis period.

As you might imagine, this means I disagree with my colleague Hannibal Tabu. I don't think Commanders In Crisis is bold. I think Commanders In Crisis is a reheating of other people's ideas, from character to setting. The setting is Earth-2, the characters are expys (OCs, don't steal!), and the villains are nihilists.

What's new in issue 5? Is there any scene as laughable as the scene in issue one where a guy with guns (Sawbones) goes into an emergency room and shoots a patient resisting treatment while telling the terrified nurses he's not a doctor?

Sadly, no.

In issue 5, there is a sex scene with all the eroticism of a fixed camera C-SPAN broadcast. February is a month where Boom published a comic with blood play and knife play, so Orlando and penciller Davide Tinto must do better than questionably posed cis interracial sex to make a reader bat an eye.

There's an editorial misfire where Prizefighter remarks that he got shot with both barrels of a shotgun when everyone in the scene is holding a single-barreled shotgun. Hopefully, that'll get fixed for the trade. That same scene introduces the Fatalgorithm, which is at least worth a chuckle when the team introduces it, though it is undercut by the team depicting the Fatalgorithm as someone's sick tribal tattoo.

Commanders In Crisis #5: Don't Believe The Hype
The Fatalgorithm from Commanders In Crisis

For a series that's close to halfway done, Commanders In Crisis isn't showing a lot of promise. I suppose if you're desperate to see what Steve Orlando does with his own superhero universe, this is where you'd go.

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