It is common for teams to fight within each other. Over the years, we have had several comics and films about the disagreements between superheroes leading to conflict. This is usually due to being misinformed or lied to by the one person they trusted the most. Frontier is carrying a secret bigger than any member of the Crisis Command could imagine, but what is it and why is she keeping it buried? Spoilers for the first three issues of Commanders In Crisis ahead.
After resurrecting Simon from the dead, a dead man whose murder was somehow connected to the time travelers the group fought in the first issue, Frontier appeared surprisingly emotional. It seemed like she had some kind of connection to Simon, but he had no idea who she was. This could have been due to amnesia caused by being brought back from the dead, but as the issue went on, that prediction was disproven as we see the two converse. We see flashbacks to a time where Simon and Frontier were lovers. At the end, Frontier states one phrase that holds so much more meaning for readers than it does for Simon, “I learned that the hard way… a world ago,” when referring to her past. The implication here is that she lied to the Crisis Command when she told them that the universe they were currently in was her own. This issue grows the seeds planted in the last one exceptionally.
Before this issue, I was reading this comic as a neat concept with some interesting commentary. However, this one line changed everything about the story. Steve Orlando and Davide Tinto managed to subvert my expectations in the best way possible. I complained about how little attention Frontier got in the first two issues and the team behind this issue made me eat my words.
This issue picks up where the third issue ended, with the Crisis Command confronting in front of the house of the man that killed Simon. His mom greets them at the door, holding a gun to Prizefighter’s face as if it would actually hurt him. We get a surprising amount of backstory for Simon’s murderer, with a few images I would have liked to have burned from my memory. I knew how graphic this book was leaning, but I really did not expect to get a panel of the killer sleeping on his back in his birthday suit. Although, it excellently showed how boring of a person he was before the murder, so I will give Tinto a pass on this one.
Speaking of Tinto’s art, he and colorist Francesca Carotenuto do an excellent job telling the stories of Frontier and Simon’s killer with their art. The visuals give us a clear image of who they truly are despite what they would have others believe. The action panels are busy, but I am still able to feel the scale of it all. I also love the reveal of who the Crisis Command are really fighting and the implications of it. The conflict between the members of the group is particularly prominent in this issue and it all comes to a head in the last pages. The way Frontier’s facial expressions are drawn tell us everything we need to know about how she feels during those panels. This is further demonstrated in how each of the other members of the Crisis Command react to this new information.
This is easily my favorite issue so far. Steve Orlando and Davide Tinto managed to elegantly balance every plot thread, allowing the story to reach its lowest point. I am excited to see how the fallout of this issue affects the rest of the series.