REVIEW: ‘Crime Syndicate,’ Issue #3

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Crime Syndicate #3 - But Why Tho?

Crime Syndicate #3 is published by DC Comics. Written by Andy Schmidt. Pencils are by Kieran McKeown and the inker is Deter Vines. The colour artist is Steve Oliff and the letterer is Rob Leigh. The backup story has the same writer and letterer, but Bryan Hitch is the artist and Alex Sinclair is on colours.

In this retelling of the formation of the team made up of powerful, dangerous super villains, Starro attacks an Earth-3 that lacks superheroes. The metahumans that exist are all lone wolves and not good people. Starro’s minions possess several members of the super-powered beings, including Ultraman. He attacks Superwoman, trying to enslave her as well. As Superwoman begins to get outnumbered by the soldiers, their battle is interrupted by the arrival of Power Ring and Owlman. The Crime Syndicate are all in one place…

In this issue, the full team battles the alien threat. Owlman has connected them and can now deliver tactical instructions to the other members. Starro is extremely powerful, already defeating the Green Lantern Corps of that universe. Hanging over Metropolis and still controlling many metahumans, the humans must rely on their protectors to keep them safe. Power Ring, Ultraman, and Superwoman all have the potential to do so, but will they be able to work alongside each other to save the planet?

Crime Syndicate #3 is one huge battle and a brilliantly constructed one at that. With the “heroes” now together, they are unleashed upon the protagonist. The stakes are high and with the motivations of these characters so complex, the outcome is unpredictable. The fight is full of fantastic moments that show how these powers can be used in much more violent ways than their Earth-1 counterparts do. The pace is unrelenting, keeping the reader in the high-octane, explosive conflict for the entirety of the comic. The ending wasn’t much of a surprise, but the consequences of how the battle concludes was absolutely a surprise.

The main characters within the comic are expertly explored again. Like with the previous issues, each chapter focuses on a member of the Crime Syndicate. Superwoman takes the centre stage in issue 3, revealing her origin and more of her terrifying personality. This is Donna Troy, not Diana, but the original character is known for their compassion just as much as the other Amazonian. The writer shows just how frightening she can be if that compassion isn’t there. Her backstory is a clever and tragic alteration, and it explains much of why she is so hateful and dominant towards men.

The other characters are excellent within Crime Syndicate #3. Most of the members aren’t used to working together or taking orders, which puts their lives in jeopardy. Each has a huge ego that constantly conflicts with the ones fighting next to them. This is the first time that Owlman has been confirmed in public, which is an interesting piece of world-building. 

The art is superb again, presenting a beautiful and intense fight scene that lasts the whole comic. The main members of the Crime Syndicate aren’t the only metahumans involved, but each cameo is rife with detail and changes to their costume to make them scarier. Another thing the Vines and McKeown illustrate well is the sheer scale of Starro as she hovers over an entire city. 

The facial expressions on each character depict disturbing emotions on the faces of people that look so similar to the heroes we know and love. Ultraman has these wild eyes as swings wildly at anything in his path. Superwoman has the appearance of being bored the entire time, as if she isn’t even trying to fight. The artist and inker work well together to choreograph the battle and show off the strength of those fighting. The reader will be left in awe of some of the moves that are attempted by the superheroes.

The colours are gorgeous. There are so many different shades and yet Oliff makes each one vibrant and stunning. Even those that appear in the background of a single panel are given individual tones that make them instantly recognisable. There is so much variation in colours, detail added to surfaces that could only be just one, such as Starro’s skin. The giant starfish has many panels in which it is essentially a close up for her. Oliff adds blemishes and texture to her eye and tentacles.

The art in the backup story is great also. Hitch fills Themyscira with beauty even if is briefly seen, and Sinclair’s soft tones make the island look like an idyllic paradise. The all-black of Donna’s armour makes her stand out against her sisters and the other representative from that island that we know and love. 

The lettering is fantastic. There are times when the text is a different colour or within a different style of caption box. Yet it is always effortless to read.

Crime Syndicate #3 is an epic battle filled with incredible characters. The readers aren’t routine for many figures within this comic, as everyone appears to be a monster. So the excessive violence is more enjoyable because there is a lack of concern for whoever it is being inflicted on. Despite this, Schmidt does include lines of dialogue that briefly pull at the heartstrings. But there is something important about this group that is maintained throughout this series. They are not and will never be good people. The fight itself never gets boring, the extensive cast resulting in awesome displays of powers and personalities. 

Crime Syndicate #3 is available where comics are sold.

Crime Syndicate #3
5

TL;DR

Crime Syndicate #3 is an epic battle filled with incredible characters. The readers aren’t routine for many figures within this comic, as everyone appears to be a monster. So the excessive violence is more enjoyable because there is a lack of concern for whoever it is being inflicted on. Despite this, Schmidt does include lines of dialogue that briefly pull at the heartstrings. But there is something important about this group that is maintained throughout this series. They are not and will never be good people. The fight itself never gets boring, the extensive cast resulting in awesome displays of powers and personalities.