While I’m sure many people are executing their latest pranks today, Todd Black and Alex Garcia are back again with the latest issue of Guardians! The sixth issue in Black and Garcia’s original superhero series continues the adventures of the super-powered brothers Element and Chaos as they try to protect the citizens of Delta City from their growing gallery of villains.
In the opening of this issue, a hooded figure is seen at a computer initiating some kind of program in an unknown location. Meanwhile at the Perch, fresh off their victory from battling the intangible free runner known as Phase, the Guardians muse over the sounds of the city before they decide to go on patrol. While flying over the city, the pair observe what appears to be a man giving a bad impromptu public concert, but when the man falls into a fountain during his performance and becomes unresponsive after he is pulled out of the water, the Guardians identify the source of his strange behavior as some kind of signal being transmitted from his laptop. Later, several other incidents occur around the city involving people engaging in fist fights, driving recklessly, and attempting near-suicidal feats, all of which are resolved by the Guardians, who begin to suspect there is a frequency being transmitted through electronic devices to cause the unusual behavior. While trying to stop a crowd of hostile citizens, the Guardians demand the person who is obviously controlling them to reveal herself, to which the unknown mastermind responds by taunting the heroes while speaking through the innocent civilians, attempting to justify her actions by saying that the people controlled were in no real danger and she is testing a program to save someone dear to her, but she mocks the Guardians further stating they can’t stop the innocent people under her control without hurting them. In response, Element creates an EMP to disable the signal controlling the people who would have attacked them and the pair of heroes fly off. Later, the unnamed villain is shown again in her home, still tweaking her program when she is interrupted by a call from a doctor who informs her that her sister’s condition is worsening and she will have little time left, to which the woman responds that she will save her sister. The issue ends with the woman looking out of a window upon Delta City, grinning wickedly and stating that the city itself will be her “lab rat”.
This is only the first part of this story arc so the lack of details regarding the villain are understandable, but at least her motivations were made clear and in my opinion the source of her weapon/power was made a lot clearer than the previous two villains introduced in this series. Garcia’s art is beautiful as usual, and Black is keeping the characters consistent and he seems to be developing a group of villains with diverse talents who will most likely assemble an evil society at some point, which is always the way to go in a superhero universe.
I do commend Black on introducing a villain that the audience may be able to empathize with, as most of the major characters introduced so far don’t seem to have much depth. Even the lack of background and alien nature of the heroes makes them hard to relate to, but it is more of a journey towards humanity for them, as they observe the people they protect and learn from each new challenge presented to them. It will be interesting to see how dynamic Black will make his latest villain and what new developments it will bring to the Guardians as well. For those who want to jump into the Guardians’ universe, be sure to check out the previous issues to get caught up or take a look at our first review for the first five issues!
You can check out more from Todd Black and Guardians at the book’s official website.