Art by: Ardian Syaf, Yildiray Cinar, Howard Porter, Dean White, Beth Sotelo and Vicente Cifuentes
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: September 9, 2015
The Lie Has to be Better
The Truth story continues this week in Batman/Superman and the big draw this issue has to be the crazy guest star of last issue's cliffhanger...Aquaman. While I have been worried that adding Arthur into an already convoluted story might really throw things off the rails, I like Aquaman and have been holding out hope that he can knock some sense into Clark and right the Truth ship before it pulls up at the dock. Seriously, this book may not be the best in the Truth lineup, but I'll give Greg Pak kudos for laying it on the line with the craziest entry. The craziness continues this issue with the wrap up to the whole Subterranea/Ukar/artificial sun story. So, did Aquaman help Clark save the day? Let's find out...
The issue has a pretty cool one page opener. Aquaman is punching Clark in the stomach as Clark gives a play by play to Jim Gordon. As far as openers go, I really couldn't ask for more from this story. I've been waiting to see what Aquaman will do and now we see. Of course, looks can be deceiving.
Greg Pak then takes us to the far past of ten minutes earlier and we quickly see what Batman and Lucius have planned for the artificial sun. They have it on an oil rig and even though it is going to blow, Lucius still wants to fix it. I give the guy credit for wanting to clean up his mess, but it's about to go supernova. Get the hell out of there, Lucius!
I liked everything up to this point. The mystery of Arthur punching Superman and Batman and Lucius trying desperately to stop the sun exploding was a really cool beginning and really had my hopes up for this being one of the better Truth issues so far.
When we catch up with Ukar's troops heading for the oil rig and I lost a little bit of that hope. With Clark still undercover, Aquaman blames those holding the sun for poisoning the ocean. Okay... This just felt silly to me. Silly and a forced way to have Aquaman in this book and pissed off.
Things get a little better when Aquaman discovers Clark and quickly hatches a plan to save his depowered friend from Ukar, The plan...kicking the crap out of Clark. The problem is that Clark isn't in on the plan and is too damn stupid to realize he's supposed to pretend to be defeated.
Meanwhile, Gordon tries to protect the sun by blowing shit up, Ukar tries to grab the sun while it's flaring up and Clark saves the Subterranean King at the last second from said sun. All this stuff going on seems to just happen for the sake of happening and none of it really had any impact as I read it.
That continues as Gordon presses a button and out of nowhere the container holding the sun becomes a rocket and blasts off into the sky...with Batman and Clark going along for the ride. At this point, I was still convinced that this sun would explode giving Clark his powers back and he even mentions it, but that, my friends, doesn't happen.
Instead, another spaceship comes out of nowhere and steals the sun. What is going on? Ukar tells us it's the Dawn Command and while he seems happy at first, when the rest of the Command suddenly vanish like Scotty beamed them up, he tells us he's been betrayed. Thank God Clark saved Ukar because without him, I would have been totally lost.
With all that just happened, it made me laugh when Aquaman tells Ukar he needs to start trusting people. I know he's talking about Batman and Superman, but I'm not so sure Ukar is in the mood to buy what Arthur is selling.
Speaking of Batman and Superman, I haven't been the biggest fan of how Greg Pak has dealt with Gordon and Clark's relationship, but I like what he gives us here. Gordon tells Clark that the way he's still jumping into things without thinking is making things dangerous for everyone and he is right. However, telling him to get out of Gotham felt a bit off.
The issue ends with a parallel scene to the one that opened this series and a look at who was behind the Dawn Command.. The first is a nice scene with Bruce and Clark that confirms that Bruce won't be back anytime soon and the second sets up the villain of the book going forward and was awesome.
This issue had a whole lot of nonsense. With what we got before this, I really didn't expect any different, but the whole issue felt forced and a bit rushed. The pacing was way off and scenes just seemed to get jammed into one another without proper transitions. I also found myself not really caring what happened anyway and that's not good. However, despite how much I haven't liked this story, the issue ended in a way that has me excited for next month's issue. I guess I'm a sucker.
The art duties were split between an army of artists and while it's a who's who of my favorites, the sheer amount make for some jarring transitions. As a whole, however, I didn't mind the individual panels, but nothing here really made me sit back and say "wow".
Bits and Pieces:
I guess this issue ends the Batman/Superman Truth arc, but you could have fooled me. It didn't feel like an ending and I still am looking for the Truth. We do get a convoluted story with multiple artists that equal some jarring transitions and an awesome cliffhanger reveal. I haven't been impressed with the Truth story in general and this issue didn't change that. In fact, I may be less impressed after reading this issue...and that's the Truth.