Fugitive young superheroes and former supervillains inch toward an uneasy bond following the opener’s climactic disaster (The Cloak Society, 2012).
Huddling in a secret hideout, former dastard-in-training Alex and his motley group of junior Rangers of Justice allies work toward rescuing the adult members of the Rangers, who have been trapped in the other dimensional Gloom by the shadowy Cloak Society to which Alex’s villainous parents belong. That work is hindered by Alex’s nagging fears (justified, as it turns out) that not all of his teen and preteen associates are on the up and up. To a cast already well stocked with costumed good and bad guys wielding flashy superpowers and high-tech gear, Kraatz adds new characters endowed with prehensile hair and the ability to control insects. But this episode lags. Though he also trots in a trio of fiendishly clever assassins to provide the episode with a few stylized, indecisive fight scenes and real, or seeming, betrayals, not only does the overarching plotline barely budge, but Alex’s continual doubts and frets make for glacial pacing and much waiting around for the action to start.
Loyalty issues fuel an emotionally turbulent but slow-moving middle volume. (Fantasy. 11-13)