Showcase ’94 #9
DC Comics (August, 1994)EDITOR: Neal Pozner “The Secret Origin Of Scarface” finale: “Call Me Scarface” WRITERS: Alan Grant & John Wagner ARTIST/COLORIST: Teddy Kristiansen LETTERER: Ken Bruzenak CONSULTING EDITOR: Denny O’ Neil “A Story” WRITER: Terrance Griep, Jr. PENCILER: Kyle Hotz INKER: Pav Kovacic COLORIST: Mike Danza LETTERER: Albert De Guzman “PAX” CREATORS: Mark Waid & Mike McKone “Sum: Zero” finale WRITER: Dan Jurgens PENCILER: Frank Fosco INKER: Ken Branch COLORIST: Stuart Chaifetz LETTERER: Richard Starkings & Comicraft “WAVERIDER” CREATORS: Archie Goodwin & Dan Jurgens “MONARCH” CREATORS: Dennis O’Neil & Dan Jurgens
In the conclusion to Scarface’s origin, “Woody” (the name Donovan gave the puppet when he built him from gallows wood) convinces Arthur Wesker to take him with him through the tunnel Donovan made but is not afraid to use. When Donovan wakes up Wesker is forced to kill him to save himself. Pushed on by Woody, Arthur steals a boat and escapes Blackgate. Finding a costume store he and Woody get their more familiar gangster costumes. Woody tries to help Arthur with his ventriloquism skills and chooses a better name for himself: Scarface. Is he the product of the gallows wood or the disturbed minds of his creator and new “caretaker”? This story isn’t meant to answer that question but further obscure it. It’s a good story but I’m still not a fan of the art style, especially Woody/Scarface’s elongated head and mouth.
Next we get the tale of Pax, who had hoped to appease the parasites plaguing his world and dimension only to become their victim. Except instead of death, the last of his people gained enhanced strength and the ability to sense the parasites hiding as other people. Now in the outer space portion of the regular DC Universe his hunt continues. A bit different from regular DC fare but actually pretty decent. Maybe someday he can stop telling his story–with a happy ending.
Finally we come to the end of the Zero Hour prelude. Monarch has limited time travel ability and wants the secret from Waverider and Hunter. During the fight, Hank learns that after Dove’s death in Armageddon 2001 he now has even greater power. Tapping into that, Monarch becomes Extant and manages to take Waverider’s band. Now he has the power to remake all of time. Zero Hour is coming. Frankly the whole “I absorbed Dove’s power when Dawn died” part of his origin is a bit odd to me. It just doesn’t work, or he would have had the same power when his brother Don was also killed. Then again, they ruined good characters just so DC could have their twist ending, even though they intended a different hero to fall and become Monarch. It’s just frustrating from critic, fan, and creator perspectives.
Overall these were decent stories. We learned the origin of Scarface as well as the new villain for the next event. Then we have an odd but not too bad story in the middle. It’s worth picking up this and the previous issue.