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Steve Trevor has never been a major player in the DC Universe, especially after the iconic Crisis On Infinite Earths basically made him redundant. Yet, thanks to the work of Geoff Johns – and now Sterling Gates – the man most commonly known as Wonder Woman’s Lois Lane returns once again to headline his very own mini-series.
Much like Vibe, whose fantastic reincarnation by Johns and Gates (along with Andrew Kreisberg), the work done by the creative teams who have handed Steve in the "New 52" is pretty much the result of being given carte blanche over such a character. A character who has been such a non-entity for so long that their only claim to fame was they once existed. Honestly this sort of displacement was even worse for a character such as Steve Trevor, because he had at been something of note, than it was for flash in the pan gimmicks like Vibe – and so it was a very curious thing to see when the "New 52" began that there was this increased effort to bring him back to some sort of level of importance. And it worked – especially prevalent during his Justice League days, fan response had come in – people thought Steve Trevor was cool again. So much so that with Justice League of America was announced many fans voiced their opinion that they were excited to see more of Steve Trevor.
With this much goodwill building up for a character that no one had given much of a hoot about it seemed obvious that they needed to strike while the iron was hot – leading to cameo appearances across the board from Justice League Dark to the unfortunately cut short Team 7. His very own mini-series was inevitable in the grand scheme of things – and for those who enjoyed his role in such stories as “The Villain’s Journey” this will not disappoint in the least. Many fans had been worried that Steve had lost his zest due to his weakened charisma in Justice League of America, with him coming off as a pushover, but ARGUS quickly puts all those fears to rest. It immediately begins with some of the most “badass” lines that Steve has said in the past year – and quickly gains momentum from there. Awakening from the wreckage of the battle of “Trinity War” he sets his mind on one thing – getting things back to the way they should be.
ARGUS also hold claim to a very effective and time-honored spy movie clichés, which is actually very fitting given the whole clandestine nature of the stuff that is going on. Old standards such as “all the other agents are dead” and “undercover identities have been uncovered” come into play very rapidly and seriously amp up the crisis at hand. As I have said so many times in defense of Justice League of America there is no problem in following a formula – as long as you do it well, and ARGUS really starts off on the right foot in regards to that. The rest of the issue follows in whip crack pace bouncing between a normal “Rescue the President” plot, which has its own charm, and a serious of flashbacks that detail not only Steve’s initial romance with Wonder Woman but also the formation of ARGUS itself. There’s a lot of rush here and there, but it works given the whole premise of this character already knowing what is going on – and taking action as quickly as he can.
The flashbacks are definitely a highlight though, and do a great job at showcasing the differences between the younger, more clean cut, Steve and the now more battle hardened and cynical version who has to take on the Secret Society. Of course, as a bonus for fans of the couple, there are a few panels here and there that spotlight cute intimate moments between him and Wonder Woman which become melancholy in light of their current relationship, but are sweet nonetheless. In fact, they even make Wonder Woman seems very likable, which is hard enough to do outside of her main series. The pacing may have been erratic and frenetic, but even then there is still a definite sense of flow and it even gets to do two exhilarating cliffhangers. Gates was a perfect fit for this project, not to downplay Matt Kindt but what Gates has done with Vibe – he does to Steve as well. Those who read this issue may become newly minted Steve Trevor fans.
Overall it was an exciting issue and one that captures the sort of roller coaster ride that Forever Evil has become. It’s a great tie-in that picks up a lot of loose plot threads from Justice League of America and fulfills a major part of the storyline. So, like much of the other tie-ins, this is a must read for those that want a well-rounded view of what is happening. The only fault I had art-wise was the front cover – Brett Booth is just awful. Inside, Philip Tan, Neil Edwards, and Javier Pina do a serviceable job that shows moments of greatness. Which is, by and large, pretty impressive for a tie-in miniseries. I’m already awaiting the next issue and I definitely recommend it out to all who want. It’s well worth it.