Oh, Canada! This solid and effective sophomore issue is an excellent mix of law enforcement procedural and superhero team book, with a hint of corporate and government conspiracy behind it, all set in the Great White North. An overabundance of costumed heroes in the United States sent waves of super-powered bad guys looking for colder and less crowded environs. The "big names" in Canadian super-heroism are, at best, laughable ("Voyageur" and "Mary Maple Leaf" — really!). Without any hairy mutants to shove metal skeletons into, the Canadian government instead commissioned a classified septet of "parahuman" response agents to operate in a mostly clandestine fashion and takedown threats to the nation.
Led by a plain-clothed no-nonsense powerhouse called Pulsar, there's a guy with a Captain Cold riff called Polar Knight, "French Guardian" from Quebec (which hasn't been part of France since the Royal Proclamation of 1763, but sure), a soldier with Rictor's powers called Seism, a cookie-cutter muscle called Moose (sadly, nobody makes any Christine McGlade jokes about him), a psychometric codenamed Recap and a kind of generic flying "blasts from her hands" a durable woman called Damsel.
What's most interesting about this group is their interplay with each other. There's a legitimate (and pretty well developed, for the small amount of panel time) super-villain here (with a surprise in what they have going on) rated an "Impact Level 3." Still, even the people here don't consider that much of a threat, sending only Pulsar to fight him. Seism has enormous power but the possibility for massive amounts of property damage, frustrated by rear-echelon assignments but challenging to deploy in urban combat.
Alan Russette gives the developments here a kind of Hill Street Blues feel, with no single character dominating this ensemble piece and most of them (save the monotonous Moose, so far a complete stereotype) getting a moment in the sun, with clever and even-handed exposition. There's even an undercurrent of something sinister at the root of things, unseen by our blue-collar heroes. The visuals from Petersen, Campbell, and Lumsden are solid and do pretty good action scenes (look for the aforementioned big surprise). Campbell's colors could be a little more defined, but they get the job done. Overall, this is an enjoyable, effective superhero romp that hints at the idea it could be hiding bigger, better secrets. RATING: HONORABLE MENTION.
Project: I.M.P.A.C.T. #2
Seism hits the training field to work on his control. Meanwhile, Pulsar investigates a break-in at the Royal Ontario Museum!