Writer: Derek Landy
Artist: Federico Vicentini
Colorist: Matt Milla
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Release Date: 10/21/2020
With an odd three weeks between releases, it’s very clear that issue three should have been the last for this series. Derek Landy’s horrible dialogue and inability to give character development in four issues ruined the potential for a great success before Falcon and the Winter Soldier debuts on Disney+. Derek Landy created Veronica to become this new big bad, the head of Hydra. But it just, happened. That cliffhanger for issue three was good, this follow up did nothing for the character of Veronica, nothing for our heroes, and very little for the story at large. Landy had Veronica speak with a bit of a psychotic tone, letting the reader know she’s a bit crazy, but it was just too Harley Quinn. With the hair, the attitude, it wasn’t anything new. And that’s only the opening four pages. I thought the book was done after that. And it might as well have been.
It seems Landy may have just tried too hard with his newly introduced toys. If The Natural was meant to be as annoying to the reader as he is to Winter Soldier, then yes Landy nailed it. It wasn’t the racist undertones, it was the constant gabber jawing of unwarranted or needed dialogue. Issue three showed the small glimmer of hope that The Natural may have the potential to be a good guy, but to see it as an eye rolling display of “gotcha!” didn’t help my interest in this series. Landy’s dialogue was all over the place in this issue, nothing felt natural. For an issue with twenty-three pages it felt like a plane ride and a half just to get through a page or two.
I have been off and on with this artistic team throughout these four issues. Federico Vicentini and Matt Milla have done some great work, but this issue id not wwin me over to continue the series “for art alone”. The panel progression through the big action scene, which has become a troupe of this series, was complete chaos. I had to look it over a handful of times to make sense of the actions that were taking place. Characters were inconsistently drawn throughout the book so it was a big turn off from one page to the next.
This series should have been helmed by Kyle Higgins and The Natural should have had similar ties to RJ from the most recent Winter Soldier mini series, at least at that point we can have some grounds from which these characters can stand on rather than attempt to make them larger than life and immediate hits for readers.