This issue was surprising, and every bit as good as I had hoped it would be.
Recap: Tony Bedard writes / Scott McDaniels draws
Rick Tyler sees the future. It’s Bane attacking Rex Tyler (father and original Hourman). In real time, Rex and wife Wendi are getting comfortable at home, and yes, we indeed have a viagra joke. Funny.
A loud noise emanates from the front of the house, and there’s a large hole where a window used to be. Rex investigates, Bane sneaks up from behind. Rick goes for some Miraclo, but is denied by Bane. Bane ensures he is there on personal matters.
Bane’s dragging Rick out the front door, when Rex in Hourman suit jumps in, really, and pops Bane, with no effect. He intakes some Miraclo, and now it’s a fight. Bane pleads for understanding as he is there to have is life saved. Why he could not have said that before, who knows.
Apparently, Bane traveled back to Santa Prisca after kicking his addiction to Venom, and found that the citizens are hooked on a street drug derived from the Venom formula. He goes after the mob bosses, but their goons are jacked on Venom as well. Bane is subdued, sliced open, and has a new Venom system implanted within him, but this one requires an average dose every so often. “Withdrawal is one hundred percent lethal.” – Bane.
The Santa Priscan mob now wants Bane to kidnap Rick Tyler, creator of Miraclo, but Bane wants to use him to create an antidote for this new Venom, and help save the citizens of Santa Prisca. Hourman and Bane must now break into Bannerman plant, a research lab where Rick Tyler came up with Miraclo. This segment concentrates on how Rex Tyler’s necessity on Miraclo, and Bane’s addiction to Venom are much alike.
They spook a security guard who trips over the rail, nearly falls into some acidic chemical, but Hourman saves him. The Miraclo wears off, both men hanging over the rail, Rex loses his grip, Bane swoops in, saving the security guard.
They got what they needed and it turns out, someone duplicated Rick Tyler’s early research, some of it incomplete. That work ends up being the army’s super-soldier program, which created the original Venom drug.
Now, Bane’s just a bit upset....to be continued in JSA: Classified #18.
While not epic, it turns out that there is history happening with this issue. Rick Tyler is now responsible, slightly, for the Venom formula's existence, linking Bane and Hourman together, even further. It's nice to see Bane out of the Batman element, interacting with other characters in the DCU. The heroes show their reaction to dealing with the man who broke Batman's back.
Scott McDaniel's art is very clean and crisp, and he works well with Hourman. Some very solid work, he is still missed on Nightwing.