REVIEW: ‘Devil’s Reign: Superior Four,’ Issue #3

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Devil’s Reign Superior Four #3 - But Why Tho

Devil’s Reign: Superior Four #3 is the final part of the Devil’s Reign tie-in published by Marvel. Written by Zac Thompson, art by Davide Tito, Colours by Matt Milla and letters by Ariana Maher.

Doc Ock had plucked variants of himself from the Multiverse, using them to define himself as the superior version. But he was summoned by an extremely powerful, Sorcerer Supreme Otto with Doctor Doom armour. Betrayed by his team and stripped of his arms, Octavius is imprisoned in the base of the Superior Octopus. In this issue, Otto plots his escape from the fortress. It’ll take another multiversal variant, a new set of arms and re-establishing the allyship of those he pulled from other Earths.

The core premise of the plot is exciting. The “hero” of the comic is stuck on the wrong Earth and seeks revenge. And in this regard, the story works well. The pace is quick enough to keep us interested in the story. Thompson jumps between the Ottos upstairs and the one in the dungeons, building up an inevitable confrontation. The way the prime variant escapes is a surprise but that is purely because it comes from nowhere. The fight that happens as the comic ends is chaotic but fantastic, brutal in its execution. And by the final page, there is a slight satisfaction about how this Devil’s Reign tie-in concludes.

The biggest problem with both the plot and a large amount of the dialogue is that it is confusing. It is an adventure in not just multiversal space, but appears to have aspects of time as well. The conversations are repetitive and very rarely get to the actual point. The actual voices within what the characters say are lost to exposition and gloating about being superior. Always superior. The prime Octavius is well written and the egos within every single one is probably the only part of them that is prominent. The core notion of what Thompson is trying to achieve is there and it is visible, it’s just hard to see through the complicated story.

The art is one of the saving graces of Devil’s Reign: Superior Four #3. Tinto displays incredible imagination in representing even glimpses of new worlds. The Superior Octopus’ fortress is superb in its detail, comically huge and ridiculously designed. Ridiculous is a good word for much of what occurs but that belies the brilliance of what the artist does. Recreations of classic characters to turn them into Ottos leads to some fantastic and often hilarious creations. The fight scenes have real violence to them, a reminder that these are all villains. The final page features the best design in the small series, an amalgamation of two characters in a really creative combination. Another character that deserves mention is the Sorcerer Supreme, who we see out of armour for the first time in a striking image,

The colours are influential in helping to develop worlds. The tones are vibrant and captivating. In one scene, there are visions of the different worlds the other members of the Superior Four originate from. And from each is a beautiful glow of a separate colour. But there are also brilliant blending of shades as Milla shows a terrific understanding of lighting. The text of the lettering is easy to read, but occasionally the placement of the word balloons is part of the reason the dialogue can be considered jumbled.

Devil’s Reign: Superior Four #3 is the last part of a very conflicting comic. There is a good story here, as well as an excellent character study through an inventive method. And the art has been fantastic in all three issues. However, The dialogue and the script are far too messy and bloated to really fall in love with. The large speeches from every character weigh the issue down and it’s very hard to really focus on what is being said. And to only have one page of three issues that actually ties it into the main book shows how adrift it is from anything relevant.

Devil’s Reign: Superior Four #3 is available where comics are sold.


Devil’s Reign: Superior Four #3
2.5

TL;DR

Devil’s Reign: Superior Four #3 is the last part of a very conflicting comic. There is a good story here, as well as an excellent character study through an inventive method. And the art has been fantastic in all three issues. However, The dialogue and the script are far too messy and bloated to really fall in love with. The large speeches from every character weigh the issue down and it’s very hard to really focus on what is being said. And to only have one page of three issues that actually ties it into the main book shows how adrift it is from anything relevant.