Monday, January 27, 2020

Review: Batman/Superman #6

Some of you may remember that I had little initial interest in reading the Batman/Superman title as it dealt mostly with the Batman Who Laughs, a character whose popularity is enigmatic to me. Why drop $4 a month to read more dark matter?

Then Supergirl was named one of 'The Infected' and I felt obligated to get at least the first arc. After all, I am trying to stay on point with Kara and all the things involved with her character. And between the Perpetua Wars in JLA, Doomsday Clock, and the Batman Who Laughs, I was already immersed in pretty grim stuff. So if figured why not.

Ahh ... Anj Anj Anj ... you have fallen victim to the oldest comic trick in the book. The bait and switch.

Because it turns out that Batman/Superman isn't where the story of the Infected is going to unfold. That is happening in another book ... Year of the Villain Hell Arisen. That is where the ending of that plot will unfold. Turns out this title was just a tease of that arc.

Batman/Superman #6 is the aftermath of the Infected.
The Aftermath!!!

Writer Joshua Williamson gives us a story of the World's Finest finally seeing the error in their ways of dealing with the Infected. He tees up the next story well.

The art by David Marquez continues to be the highlight of this book. We get a good look at Marquez' Wonder Woman and it is gorgeous.

But ultimately, I got into this title for all the wrong reasons.

On to the book.

The book starts with the heroes visiting the still insane Commissioner Gordon trapped and ranting.

He gives some verbal jabs to our heroes, chastising them for lying to everyone else. After all, The Batman Who Laughs prison and the plight of the Infected was pretty much hidden from not only the world but the other heroes.

We then head into a flashback where the heroes go to see Wonder Woman to discuss what is happening to Donna Troy.

They find a rather brutal Wonder Woman hacking her way through demons as a 'workout', a way to work out her frustrations. She isn't happy that Superman and Batman kept her in the dark. And, in a series of inset panels, we see that other heroes aren't happy either.

Now I don't know if I am on board with this slicey-dicey Diana. And nothing says 'extreme grittiness' like seeing someone's hand fly off.

But that said, Marquez' Wonder Woman is amazing.

And then she gets down to the nitty gritty.

She isn't happy that she was kept in the dark about Donna's infection. She wants to know if there is a cure.

And then she storms out on Superman and Batman, angry that they lied to her. In the past, they were open and honest and shared information. That seems to have changed.

I suppose that this is usually a Batman plot. The Dark Knight is trying to handle something alone and the other heroes berate him. Superman being there is new. And his shocked face is good indication that he doesn't like being in this situation.

But both agree.

Wonder Woman is right.

And something has to change. They can't hide their issues any more.

I do find the timing of this a little interesting. In his title, Superman has been talking about truth and honesty to the point that he has unmasked himself.

Here, he is lamenting not telling the truth.

Of course, so much is happening in the DCU right now it is hard to know which event came first and how many ran concurrently. Event Leviathan? Perpetua wars? Infected? All at the same time?

And then Batman proposes a solution.

They will take all the information they have gathered and they will share it with people. They will 'weaponize transparency'. Every hero will have access to Batman's files.

I don't know.

It seems too easy.

And does this mean I know need to get Hell Arisen? Is anyone out there reading it?

As for this title, just as I was ready to give up on it, the next arc is teased and it seems awesome.

Zod wanting to resurrect the Kandorians with the Lazarus Pit?

That sounds cool.

Still, I feel a bit snake-bit with this book. But I suppose DC is laughing. They got what they wanted out of me.

Overall grade: C+


Martin Gray said...

Dang, I bought this for the first time since the first issue because I thought The Infected rubbish was over.

This was a good-looking but quick, and dull, read. Batman's great plan is a database of supervillains? Hasn't the Justice League had this for a million years/

The League should do an Avengers and court martial the uppity World's Finest pair.

Do not - repeat, do not - waste money on Hell Arisen, you know it'll be rubbish, and annoy you. And if you think the story will end there, I have a DC Universe: Decisions going cheap...

Anonymous said...

There is something fantastic about the way Alejandro Sanchez is coloring Marquez's work in Batman Superman - he seems to be using a lighter shade of blue for Superman, and it looks great.

And Marquez does draw an excellent Wonder Woman.

The timelines are confusing me, but maybe I'm not working hard enough to figure them out. Someone in the CBR forums had some ideas about which stories go where in the sequence, but I didn't even follow that! Maybe someday the "reading order" web sites will figure it all out, but by then I surely won't care.

So Doomsday Clock's delays allowed YOTV to overtake and possibly contradict it. And now - Wonder Woman #750's final story (by Snyder) undoes the ultimate thesis of Doomsday Clock, by making Wonder Woman, not Superman, the first in the age of heroes. (Some people are speculating that this is the debut of DC's upcoming "5G reboot.")

But on a more positive note, there's a lovely Bombshells story in Wonder Woman #750 featuring 2 pages with Soviet Supergirl. (And, in another story, there is an inconsequential cosplaying Supergirl marching along with a parade of cosplayers at Mardi Gras, which I thought I'd mention in passing.)


Ben said...

I liked how Gordon sulked like an angry punk kid after Batman & Superman left him in mid-rant. The best way of shutting down a creep who's trying to get under your skin is simply to walk right out on them.