Art by: Cliff Richards, Beth Sotelo and Rob Leigh
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: October 14, 2015
If any book has had an identity crisis lately, it has to be this one. A depowered Superman and a mecha suit Batman who happens to be Jim Gordon? Yea, this is far from the World's Finest that most are used to. I'll give Greg Pak credit, he has at least kept things interesting throughout this current crossover mainly with the crazy guest stars...Ukar, the Dawn Command and Aquaman to name a few. Now that the Truth arc is over, I am wondering where Pak will take this book and if he will continue the trend of it being the one to go for some goofy fun. Well, is it? Let's find out...
I'll admit it, this issue starts off in a strange way. If you remember, Jim Gordon kicked Clark Kent out of Gotham at the end of last issue and Superman has complied. However, that doesn't seem to be good enough for Gordon. Like a guy who breaks up with his girlfriend and then calls her an hour later to see what she's doing, Gordon seems obsessed with the former Man of Steel. His dreams come true when Clark calls him and tells him...he's left Gotham. It all feels like a forced way to get a little Batman in the issue before it goes off into heavy Superman territory.
Like I said, this was a strange opener, but I really liked one thing about it. Superman is using Batman's gadgets including his facial light refractor and glider. This is what I wanted from this book since Clark went to the Batcave and pimped out his super cycle. In fact, if we can't have the regular Batman and Superman, why not have Superman as Batman. It works for me.
Superman is on the hunt for the miniature sun stolen from Waynetech and finds the Barbarians of the Dawn Command. He swoops in and starts laying the smackdown on them, but before he can take their armored vehicle, he is attacked by big, bad Vandal Savage. This is the sort of thing I was talking about in my introduction. Having Vandal Savage and Superman fight is so much fun...unless you are Superman here. It's obvious that Savage is stronger than usual and kicks the crap out of Supes. Before he can finish him off, however, he is distracted and Clark gets away with a little help from a friend.
The friend in question is Batgirl and I was pretty pumped to see her. It's not just that I am a big fan, but it also adds to the fun that Pak is bringing to the table. Back in the Batcave, Barbara shows why she is such a valuable Bat Family member by connecting a lot of crazy dots to figure out what Vandal Savage is up to. It involves suspended animation, ancient weapons and a dash of nonsense. Seriously, I don't fully understand her explanation of Vandal's plan, but having Barbara tell it is half the battle.
It all leads to Siberia and some (not so) buried nukes. Vandal Savage is obviously after major power sources and pulls a Hopper from Bugs Life on the men and women doing the work there. Little do they know, they have Superman, Batgirl and a couple of really cool Bat Family members on their side. I can't wait to see what happens when Vandal returns.
I'm not going to pretend that most of this issue makes complete sense. It's forced and ridiculous with characters showing up just for the heck of it, but it's also one thing I like...fun. Having Superman channel his inner Batman with the help of my favorite Bat Family members was a nice site to see. Maybe the Truth story made me a little punch drunk, but I liked what Pak gave us this month.
I wish I could say the same for Cliff Richards art. I usually like his art, but it doesn't fit here. The character models are not very good (especially one of the Bat guests at the end) and the action doesn't have a great sense of motion to it. I'm not sure how long he is on the book, but if he continues, I hope things get better going forward.
Bits and Pieces:
After the nonsense of the Truth story, I liked the fun approach of this issue. Clark fighting Vandal Savage with the help of Bat-tech and some cool Bat Family members is my idea of a good time and as long as it continues, I will be reading.