DC Comics (August, 1997)
WRITER: Christopher Priest
LAYOUTS: Denys Cowan
FINISHES: Tom Palmer
COLORIST: John Kalisz
LETTERER: Pat Brosseau (who shouldn’t put dark red lettering on a black background like he did in these credits)
ASSISTANT EDITOR: Maureen McTigue
EDITOR: Mike McAvennie
It turns out John’s arrest was just for show. She actually wanted to introduce him to her “gambling buddies”, including the mobster that ice cream guy pretended to be related to, a priest, and the Captain and D.A.. They know that Steel paid the guy who pursued Nat a visit but left him alive, partly because his suit malfunctioned. Meanwhile Skorpio fills Amanda in on most of the rest. Crash also paid him a visit as did Double, with Skorpio pulled in when the place he was hiding crashed in. But they just wanted to send a message to leave the Irons family alone. What he didn’t tell her is that it was Will-hane who killed him because the punk was a distraction Irons didn’t need for whatever the willhane is hoping to achieve.
What they got right: And despite my not liking it personally there is plenty of good critically. Nat’s showering isn’t because she was raped (she was actually rescued by some of the bad girls that were taunting her before) but because she was ready to kill the guy and was worried she was reverting to the rage that led her to use the mutating Tar drug on bad guys back in DC. We also avoided the rape cliché but Nat is also bothered by how many guys in her school just see her as a hole to put their penis into. The reveal was fairly well done.
What they got wrong: The dialog often sounded odd. Granted I’m a New England white boy who grew up in a small town in the 70s and 80s but did black teens in the 90s actually talk like this in the “mean streets” like Jersey City? And Skorpio introduces himself on the phone with that same crap pick-up line. And I still have to wonder (and maybe collecting the issues I do want to read someday tells me) why John moved here with Amanda if there’s no romance involved? The Amanda/Skorpio relationship is not one I’m particularly interested in.
Recommendation: It’s not a great story but not too bad if this is your thing. Or maybe this is so not my thing that my praise is flawed. You might like it, you might not.