Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman are plunged into individual strangeness as the world changes around them – a new planetary system is being born over Metropolis; Batman finds himself in a future-gothic Gotham; and Wonder Woman fights robots. OK, I couldn’t see that much had changed around Wondy, but what the heck, it led to a nice moment demonstrating how she enjoys the chance to test herself, showing that Gail Simone’s excellent portrayal in Diana’s solo book is spreading through the DCU.
Superman pushes the mini planets away from Earth before their gravity messes Earth up, apparently, and makes them someone else’s problem. And Batman gets rid of his problem by denying it, with the simple word, ‘no’.
I’m not a big one for the ‘bat-god’ who can apparently take down cosmic beings with two minutes of preparation and a paperclip, but this Batman moment was believable and, as they say, cool. The Superman scene wasn’t plausible, even for the DCU – planets and suns above Metropolis, and no harm done? It reminds me of the time Mon-El brought a dwarf star to Legion Plaza. As you do.
Maybe we’ll find out that the scenes were fantasies. Meanwhile, this was a fun enough continuation of issue 1’s story from Kurt Busiek, Mark Bagley and co, with Troika baddies Morgan Le Fay and Enigma migrating to the main strip from last month’s back-up.
This issue’s second story was not my cup of tea at all, though I was impressed by how it flowed smoothly out of, and back into, the front strip. Green Lantern John Stewart fights a big monster named Konvict and his hanger-on/minder Graak. They attack a village and Graak speaks in a thoroughly annoying way. John gets bashed and his ring sends out a distress call that’s heard by Supes and pals in the main strip. The end.
Now, I don’t mind paired villains – Child and Flaw from Amethyst, for example, also have the big guy and smarter little guy set-up, but they have charisma. These two though, just seem so generic – I honestly can’t say if I’ve seen them previously, they look and feel familiar without being memorable. And those speech patterns of Graak’s – perhaps they’re all the work of co-writer Fabian Nicieza, but having seen a long JLA story arc by KB, Syndicate Rules, derailed by aliens with impossible to understand speech patterns, I fear he’s the culprit. OI KURT! QUIT THAT! Ahem.
John Stewart hasn’t had any personality for years – he’s apparently thought of by DC as the stolid GL, so rarely shows emotion. It’s a shame, cos back in he day he was involved in the death of a planet, and had to deal with wife Katma Tui’s vicious death at the hands of Jim Owsley, sorry, Star Sapphire. He had a personality. These days he’s Mr Dignity, and very, very boring. Not so much Green lantern as Black Token. Last week’s Final Crisis was the first indication in years that he actually maintained a life of earth. I’d like to have seen something of that life here, rather than John be simply hero on the scene, ready to make the villains look bad enough to threaten Clark, Diana and Bruce by being roundly defeated. As it was, I didn’t give a hoot about him.
At least the art by Tom Derenick and Wayne Faucher was very nice – clean and dynamic.
Let’s hope next issue’s back-up with the new Tarot character is more interesting – as it is, two issues out of two I’ve been getting into the main story, only to have it suddenly curtailed for a less-interesting offering.
The cover was pretty enough, but I really hope it’s not going to be triptyches all the way – I want to see my heroes together without having to wait three weeks and then set the books next to one another.