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Threshold #1 – Review: A Whole New Frontier

There’s a whole new universe to explore as veteran writer Keith Giffen, the mind behind fan-favorites such as Annihilation and Justice League International, takes readers on a journey through the now uncharted DC Cosmic universe. The transportation? Threshold – a brand new series that aims to renew that area of DC lore which has so sadly been in neglect.

Threshold has been high anticipated by many familiar with both Giffen and to those who have been aching to see old and nearly forgotten cosmic characters revived. Expectations were high, and why would they not be? This was coming from the same person who had done a very well received revamp of Marvel Cosmic beforehand, so hopes all around were lit brightly. Care to guess what happened? Keith Giffen was able to deliver a solid beginning. Yeah, it was perhaps not the glorious bang that some may have been expecting the series to have straight away, but that was likely a longshot anyways. Overall it truly was a great foundation for what is to come and for what is to be built in the future.

Threshold did many things that a first issue should do and it did them right, even though it had two distinct tales to tell. It doesn’t waste its time explaining every single little detail of series over the course of several pages, who would want to be bored by that? No, instead Giffen presents a sole introductory page, quickly recaps the bare bones of “The Hunted”, the main feature in Threshold, and sets the reader on their way – from there they hopefully might be able to catch up. Once Giffen gets the ball rolling with a series than there is hardly anything that can stop it.

Both features in Threshold – “The Hunted” and “Larfleeze” – are very much “setting up” stories. Not much is done in way of plot, but it makes up for that not in worthless exposition and filler but in action and dynamism. There is a certain energy to the features that carries it along naturally without having to derail the goals of the characters within. Giffen’s hallmark witty dialogue aids in this endeavor tremendously, especially with the second, back-up, feature starring the Orange Lantern Larfleeze. With only the short amount of pages the back-up is able to both retell an origin in a way that is refreshing to even the initiated, while also setting up and getting the reader hooked onto the premise.

“The Hunted” might be the more serious of the two, being a space version of Running Man, but throughout Giffen is able to seed moments of lightheartedness and humor, and not to the integrity of the story at hand. With “Larfleeze”, which concerns the theft of the titular character’s varied possessions and the more humor based of the two, these moments hit the reader twice as hard. Giffen, as many may have noted from his JLI days, is a master of hilarious set-pieces and dialogue and these only add to that storied reputation.

The art in this issue is split between Tom Raney and Scott Kolins, who both do great work and really compliment their respective tales while also highlighting the differences between them. Raney's art accents the neon-plastic sci-fi wasteland that Jediah Caul, our erstwhile protagonist, has found himself trapped within. Kolins' art, on the other hand, is much more cartoonish and expressive – a perfect fit for Larfleeze’s personality and energy. Threshold is already off to a steady start and with the new wave of DC books already on the horizon I can definitely see Threshold holding the lead on those, quality wise. Now all that’s left is to see where Keith Giffen takes us on this crazy adventure through the cosmos.



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