From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Morrison's 2005 project, whose first half is collected here, is an astonishingly clever feat of superhero writing: eight simultaneous, interconnected serials (each drawn by a different artist) about a "team" that has to save the world despite the fact that its members' frames of reference are so disparate that they're unaware of each other's existence. It's a rich piece of work, full of bizarre conceits like pirates riding secret subway lines under New York City. After an ingenious fake-out in the opening chapter (a multi-stylistic tour de force drawn by J. H. Williams III), the "soldiers" are shown as recast versions of long-languishing comics characters, and each of their stories gets its own distinct tone. Simone Bianchi draws the Shining Knight (an Arthurian fish out of water in the big city) with high-fantasy invention surrounding photorealistic figures; the "Klarion the Witch Boy" sequence concerns a dissident in a subterranean Puritan village, drawn by Frazer Irving as creeping, blue-lit horror; the Manhattan Guardian stories tweak the character's Golden Age association with a "Newsboy Legion" to make him a newspaper's in-house superhero, drawn by Cameron Stewart as lightly satirical action-adventure; and Ryan Sook navigates the occult visions and fourth-wall breaking of the Zatanna chapters with admirable clarity.
Sending DC’s front line on cosmic adventures (Final Crisis) or using his own subversive narratives to push at the medium’s outer edges (Invisibles), Morrison is comicdom’s resident wild-idea man and metastoryteller. Here he redefines some of DC’s more obscure properties in a mad frenzy of concepts and twists, leading off with this hook: What if there was a team of superheroes who never met each other? Included are stories of four of the eventual seven members—the magician Zatanna is a highlight—all of whose adventures stand alone but also subtly interweave. The art is uniformly impressive, the standout being Frazer Irving’s Klarion the Witch Boy, pulsing with ominous supernatural life. Unfortunately, collecting the comics in publishing order doesn’t even provide the complete adventures of the four featured characters, let alone two of the best (a sword-wielding Frankenstein and the down-to-earth Bulleteer), who aren’t included at all. This is a grand presentation that feels disappointingly incomplete, but if you’re prepared to commit to future volumes, you’ll get one epic superhero wallop that’s worth the wait. --Jesse Karp