Greg Pak, Jae Lee, Yildiray Cinar
Spoiler alert! You have been warned!
The alternating artwork in this comic of Jae Lee and Yildiray Cinar is beautiful and Greg Pak’s really got a knack for writing Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman. In fact, he’s writing Batman and Superman twice, when you really think about it. After all, they’re not “older” or “younger” versions, as we found out this issue, but rather alternate reality versions. Which means that they are essentially completely different characters, even though they share major similarities. It’s impressive that they are portrayed so differently when, in reality, most writers nowadays would just write them exactly the same but older (or younger) and not take such things into consideration. It shows not only talent as a writer, but respect for the characters, the source material, and the readership.
The cover tells the story of what happens inside the pages of this issue, which is rare these days in comics. Especially superhero comics. The Trickster is getting the two Batmen and Supermen to fight and warning them about the incoming threat of Darkseid, which we’ve seen on Earth One (the main DC world) and heard about on Earth Two (the “Justice Society” world). He was defeated by the Justice League on the main Earth but things didn’t go so well for Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman on the other Earth. This confirms that the older Bruce, Clark, and Diana are from Earth 2, presumably just before their heroic deaths. Not sure where this is going exactly, but I’m all for any and all references to a multiverse, only if it’s going to have two (or three) alternate realities.
Overall, I only have two big gripes, but they aren’t ones that take away from the story. They’re just sort of irritating for me as a lifelong DC fan. The Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale rip-off scene (broken down car and baseball with the youngsters) and the fact that it’s Earth 2, not pre-Flashpoint DCU, makes me a little grumpy. Well done, sure, but still not something that I really wanted to rehash or be disappointed by. Like I’ve said since the first issue, this is the book I wanted to hate. I’m not a huge Pak fan usually, but he’s certainly carrying himself with grace when it comes to handling these characters. And Lee’s artwork (not to mention the Earth 2 backup by Cinar, who’s never been better) is top notch. I just wish there was a little more to this issue. It was a giant flashback and a big preview, which was nothing more than a wink and nod to the fans of old. Which I’m okay with, but I really want the action, which we’ll now have to wait another two months to get.
My Rating: 4/5