This is a fairly new series with new characters which means just about anything can happen to it's cast. I'm still unsure what direction it will take and that's usually fun.
I haven't mentioned it in my other reviews but I had this inkling since I first saw Roman in the Sneak Peek. I kept thinking he had this vibe, that maybe he was inclined towards men. I didn't know for sure why I had this feeling and it made me have trouble putting it in words. I suppose the high end fashion might have been a clue although I dismissed that has proof fairly fast. I thought it was possible for him to be a model maybe being rich. Then I thought about stories I heard about ancient Greek/Roman sexuality being more open. Roman himself didn't appear much and when he did he mostly interacted with Reiser. I never got the feeling they were more than friends and nothing in Lobdells' writing ever came off as stereotypical. Yet the thought that remained in the back of my head that it would be interesting to see a gay or possibly bisexual character as one of the leads. This issue confirms that Roman does like men as it flashes back to three years prior with him and his boyfriend.
Terrorist attack and while trying to get help for his lover Roman tries to stop himself from bleeding out with a relic he finds. Just as he gets spotted by a gunman he transforms into Alpha Centurion. The way he talks makes it obvious another personality takes over. Something Roman later confirms as he worries the Centurion will take over his body. This is a twist that really works well as a foil for Reiser since he's still himself when he transforms yet struggles to control his new body. This could make for a potentially cruel turn if they ever discover the truth about each other and AC takes over to attack Reiser. It remember Roman being unsure last issue about presumedly becoming AC again and this gives us the reason for his reluctance.
Meeting with his lab partner Reiser decides to own up to contaminating himself to try to undo what happened to him. I didn't connect that his lab partner as the same woman from the Sneak Peek named Jayne. It set her up as a love interest and here she's kinda of a jerk. Not to the point I hate her it's just that she's very self involved to the point she doesn't want him to get tests run. Why? Well she'd get in trouble since she was supposed to watch him and took a bathroom break. Reiser does lie to say he's feeling okay and I like that Lobdell is showing the bad side of being a nice person. It sort of makes you fib just to make someone else feel better and guilty when your actions might affect someone else. Which is very true to life, I know I've been in similar spots where I had to decide what was best for me vs. what someone else needed.
To Jaynes' credit she doesn't abandon him as she decides to find out what they were cleaning out. She believes that between the two of them they should be able to solve this since their both smart enough to work at S.T.A.R. labs. His aunt Belles' dog Oui Oui takes off and he finds it with Miles. They fight and Miles can understand what Reiser says in his monster form. Right when Miles is about to kill him Reiser manages to get some pity making the little bounty hunter decide to leave for now. S.T.A.R. labs has called in the Titans leading into Wonder Girl fighting Reiser next issue.
Overall: I really loved this issue. We learned a lot about Roman and how similar his situation is to his best friend. So far I love everything about these characters with the possible exception of Jayne. She's a little mean just not to the level that I'm truly disliking her. I even liked Miles who didn't gel for me last issue. I loved that he could understand Reiser on more than just a verbal level. The fact that this guy that we saw acting so ruthlessly actually sympathizes really breaks the mold on what I usually see with these bounty hunter types. Miles even gets my favorite line about fighting monsters that pretend to be human and now finding a human pretending to be a monster. A line that resonates with Reisner since he keeps thinking he's a freak.
This is why I love this series, the chacterszation is amazing. I believe that this might be the best series Lobdell wrote since the relaunch. RHA would be next just because Roys' recent behavior is becoming a problem. RHATO is good but it did have some problems. Superboy was alright I just never cared for the characters as much as the titles listed above. I quit TT after #16 but in hindsight it was pretty boring and I never connected with many of the leads. Doomed definitely earned it's place in my pull list.
Questions Raised?: I don't get a strong vibe about this so I might be off base but maybe Roman has deeper feelings for Reiser? The wording when he says that little dogs and handsome men liking him is something that Reiser should know better than anyone sounds this way. Reiser himself thinks that statement came out wrong prompting Roman to look awkward before he leaves. He also wonders why he can't tell his best friend his secret ID since Reiser is the first person he told he was gay. It might just be the standard superhero woe. I wouldn't might either way as I like them as friends.
Did Romans' boyfriend die?
Say What?: Alpha daddy? You're not even trying to be subtle with the ID, Roman.
Miles who looks like a child has two kids in "college" and one in "daycare." I love details like that.
Flash Boy, lol.
Did You Notice?: This marks the third hero I can think of that becomes a hero by getting something from a musuem. Booster Gold, DCYOU Dr. Fate and now Alpha Centurion.
Oui Oui licked Reiser when he was in his Doomed form. I checked with issue #1 and Oui Oui didn't like him even before he was contaminated. My theory is that the dog--like lots of pets--can sense when someone isn't comfortable around them. Since Reiser wasn't focused on Oui Oui and was relaxing due to Miles' words and being left alone, Oui Oui felt he was more approachable.