Adventures In The DC Universe #12
DC Comics (March, 1998)
WRITER: Steve Vance
PENCILER: John Delaney
INKER: Ron Boyd
COLORIST: Tom McCraw
LETTERER: Tim Harkins
ASSISTANT EDITOR: Frank Berrios
EDITOR: KC Carlson
Cipher finally makes his big move, taking over air traffic control computers and Lunvanian military communication systems, and orders the JLA to surrender. With no other choice the heroes surrender but come up with a plan to defeat Cipher anyway. He turns out to be Gadsen Graves, the man McKinney has been using for years to build his media empire. Graves used those resources, including embezzling the money, to create his operation, and now Winston McKinney is bankrupt. I’m with Wally, couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. The big jerk got what he deserved.
What they got right: While I wouldn’t have minded Cipher being a continuing threat in this series (since the DC Universe proper never used him despite this series clearly set there despite the DCAU-inspired designs) the story has a satisfactory conclusion. They also try to make it look like McKinney may be Cipher, which is a nice bit of plot deception.
What they got wrong: Not utilizing Cipher in the proper DC Universe, thus making this series canon there. It is an excuse to introduce kids to the main DC Universe after all, so why not take that opportunity to give kids graduating to DC Proper something they can connect to as a villain? Plus he’s a pretty good villain.
Recommendation: A good story and a fitting end to the Cipher and McKinney subplots. Pick this one up.