Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Batman/Superman #18 Review

Written by: Greg Pak
Art by: Ardian Syaf and Ulises Arreola
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: January 21, 2015

40 Days of Healing

Greg Pak continues his "Superman's Joker" arc this month and while last month's Lobo issue was fun enough, did anyone think Lobo was the guy?!?  Really?!?  I didn't think so.  After finishing that issue, I was worried that this arc was going to end up being a bad guy of the month thing, but luckily I was wrong.  Pak pulls it back a bit and gives the reader a pretty good mystery instead of a beat-em up this month.  It's pace may have been a bit off after last issue, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

This issue opens with a somber scene that puts into the focus what's at stake and what has already been lost.  The Superman cosplayer who got killed in the first issue is being put to rest and it's sad on a bunch of levels.  While I wish Supes was at the funeral, I understand he has a killer to catch.  Unfortunately, he's not close to doing so and tries to get some extra help.

When he tries to put the Crystal Brain of the Fortress of Solitude on the case, Supergirl shows up and readers of the Doomed story will know why she's pissed.  Brainiac's attack in the Doomed story really screwed up the Fortress and it needs forty days to repair. This whole "forty day" thing has been mentioned before and while it feels like an arbitrary number being forced upon the reader, I guess we'll have to go with it.  Kara is worried that if the Fortress doesn't heal, the damage done by Brainiac will never be fixed. Her main issue is the missing citizens of Kandor.

During their argument, the mysterious villain interrupts them by taunting and laughing at them.  When Batman joins in on the conversation, a plan is set in motion even if no one but Batman knows about it.  One of the best parts of the issue is when Batman is setting up the plan and practically winking and nudging Superman and he's too dense to realize.  Hilarious.

The rest of the issue proves once again that Batman is always the smartest guy in the room and is always prepared.  Seriously, when the plan goes completely wacky and off the rails, it's still what Batman thought would happen.  They may not find out who the villain is just yet, but they get their hands on one of his "magic bullets"  The bullet is so crazy and imaginative and had a direct relation to the Bottle City of Kandor.  That's two Kandor references for those keeping track.  The issue ends with a third and it looks like Batman and Superman are off to Iceland next month.

After last month, I was worried where this story was going.  I'm no longer worried.  I really enjoyed this month's issue and Pak really does a good job of giving us Superman's Joker.  It's personal and it's real.  It's also a bunch of fun.

Ardian Syaf does a really good job on art this month.  His pencil heavy style is so expressive and I love his Lois Lane.

Bits and Pieces:

Okay, I am now officially interested in the "Superman's Joker" story.  Greg Pak shows that he not only knows Batman and Superman, but has a firm grip on the Joker as well.  While we still don't find out who this Joker is, we see more of his methods and they are spot on.  Ardian Syaf does a really good job on art and the issue ends with a crazy cliffhanger that has me interested going forward.

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  1. Hey Jim did kandor appear in n52 anytime before??

    1. Yea, in Grant Morrison's Action Comics run and a couple other times.


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