Sunday, March 2, 2008

DC: The New Frontier #5 (2004)

“Evening. You were pretty banged up by the blast. The MP’s found us, and we rigged firethrowers before you came to. No point. You were out for over a day.”
“What is this place... some kind of zoo?”
“Never mind that. Tell me... You were free to leave. Why did you save me?”
“I am not a murderer. It would have... diminished me to let another creature die unnecessarily. But I also saw into your mind, and by extension, your heart. I could see that you are a man on conviction and I know you believe you are doing the right thing. You are not... evil. Within your mind, I can see that your struggle is in the name of good. You believe it is a struggle that will end. In your heart, you honestly believe there will be a better day, when all of this won’t be needed. To find that within you, King Faraday... it has filled my heart with hope.”

“Now, I may be wrong, John, but I get the impression you have the ability to escape this cell any time you please. Why is it you stay?”
“I enjoy this game we play. This chess.”
“Now really, John, what is your plan?”
“It is we that need to plan, King. I feel the menace grow louder every hour now. It busies itself in the back of my mind, like a creature preparing to strike. “
“You don’t have to convince me, John. The reports are coming in nonstop.”
“This thing in the most powerful creature on Earth... It can’t be avoided. It may take the combined efforts of all Americans to meet this challenge. Is your government... are you... ready to accept that? It is your move, King.”

*signal... broadcast... the only word I can find to describe the scale of this situation is... biblical. What we’re seeing is what looks to be a giant reptilian creature.... it has to be at least 25 miles across... transmitting... mental interference... entire surface of this monstrocity is bristling with smaller life forms that attack... vacuum-like ports... discharge intense blasts of energy... oh Jesus... or they can pull everything in its path up in itself...pull an aircraft carrier like an for this horror...OUT OF HERE NOW...COWARDS...CCLLLLIKKK! Kzzzt*

It has become impossible to mask the mental images this leviathan is transmitting. Its power, its magnitude has a vastness that bends my ability to comprehend. I sense King’s approach far later than normal.
“John--- I’m going to take my flyboys out to the cape, see if we can’t help mount some kind of counterattack. I thought you might like to come along for the ride.”
“Faraday, don’t be a dimwitted fool. I too am receiving premonitions. I HAVE BEEN TO THIS ISLAND! FARADAY!”
“Do I look retarded to you, Savage? Shut up or I’ll tell them to gas you twice an hour from now on.”
“King, it occurs to me... the last time I appeared in front of someone suddenly, they died of fright. I thought I should alter my appearance, but I don’t want to pretend I’m human anymore.”
“This is fascinating, John, but if you could get to the point--“
“Perhaps I could take a friendlier appearance, and be more like the hero, Superman.”
“Suit yourself, John. But real men wear pants, y’know?”
“How about this?”
“Now you’re talking! Give me a sec, here. Airman Stone... prep our Betty... Oh, and have them gas Savage twice an hour ‘til we get back.”
“King, I fear this monster has a deep hold on my mind. It would be best to watch me carefully.”
“That’s what I do, John. Anyway, cheer up. I don’t figure either of us will be alive this time tomorrow.”

-By Darwyn Cooke. “This wing of FARADAY’s menagerie houses VANDAL SAVAGE, CAPTAIN COLD, AL PRATT (THE GOLDEN AGE ATOM), HOURMAN, AND J’ONN J’ONZZ... In a drama such as this, the character’s actions tend to define them in the reader’s mind as “good” or “bad...” The most obvious “bad” guy is KING FARADAY, but... Right or wrong, his intentions were sincere...”

Back to DC: The New Frontier #4, Part Two (2004)

Forward to DC: The New Frontier #6 (2004)


Adama said...

Awww man, lookat J'onn and King Faraday, pimpin in their 50's sunglasses and power suits.

I'm still not sure how to feel about King Faraday in this book. I mean, he was a first class asshole who kidnapped heroes and villains alike, but he had good intentions, and the way he went out...damn!

Frank Lee Delano said...

I've hesitated to criticize Cooke's writing and raise ire, but I had a lot of problems like the one you noted. King Faraday was an upright cat, where Cooke wrote him closer to DC's crooked version of Charlton's Sarge Steel (who used to run with Faraday in the 80's.) I personally like King in the book, and forgave him his trespasses. I just took issue with his not so much being himself.