The Finest There Is
Written by: Tom Taylor
Art by: Robson Rocha, Jay Leisten, Blond and Rob Leigh
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: March 9, 2016
When Tom Taylor left DC for more "Marveler" pastures a while back, I was genuinely crushed. He was one of my favorite writers on one of my favorite books and things just weren't the same without him. Then, when I had pretty much given up hope, he returned in a blaze of glory and turned a book that had been stuck in the whole Superman Truth nonsense for way too long fun again. That might be putting it lightly because the the first two issues of this mini arc were awesome. So, with all these big books hitting their #50's this month and Rebirth looming just over the horizon, I was looking forward to this issue more than any other this week. Did Tom Taylor come through again? Let's find out...
The issue opens up with Batman flying through deep space in Lobo's ship. Yep, if you read last issue (and if you haven't, go read it now), you are probably smiling, knowing how pissed off Lobo is right now and how truly badass Batman always has been...though, he may be a tad bit more badass right now, don't ya think?!? Now that he is free and clear, he tries to get ahold of Superman, but the line is dead.
Actually, there is nothing wrong with the line, Superman is just a little tied up right now. Chained up is more like it! He is trapped in Scorch Space and when we see him, he is with the Kryptonian he freed last issue. You know, the guy who ended the issue by stabbing Superman in the chest with Kryptonite. Well, things become a little bit clearer when he tells Superman that he is indeed a Daxamite (Eric was right for once, guys) and after staring at the sun for "one long day", he just wants his freedom. I loved the way that Tom Taylor tells you how long this poor guy had been chained in front of that Sun without just saying it...Si Bar (that's his name even though I may just call him really creepy, hairy guy) mentions he visited Krypton once and would like to go back someday. Yea, good old Si has been chained up for a while.
This part of the issue changes tone when Superman looks at Si and notices that the old codger is dying. That's why the aliens needed Superman...he's just a new battery. I don't know how Tom Taylor did it, but just a little bit after betraying Superman, I honestly felt bad for Si. I also love that Superman wants to save him, not as a plan to get free, but because he genuinely wants to help him. Take note DC, this is what makes Superman so super!
Meanwhile, Batman calls up Hal and after a funny exchange that was actually downright hilarious if you read last issue (last chance to go read it before I'm forced to find where you live), Batman goes all Banana Muffin and asks Hal for help. Speaking of help, Si gets Superman "unchained" and after he powers up from the Super Sun, he heads off to meet up with his best bud, Batman.
I know a little secret about Batman...he's a master tactician and is always prepared. Don't tell anyone I told you, but I guess after reading this issue, the cat will be out of the bag forever. That's because Batman has been formulating a plan for a while now and that continues when Superman returns. See what I did there?
If I continue with the play-by-play, I will ruin the whole issue for anyone who hasn't already read it. I don't want to do that, but I can tell you that Lobo catches up with Batman and wants his ride back, the giant alien reveals his plan and might as well have broadcasted it to the entire universe and Batman is one tricky son of a bitch. Tom Taylor gives us one of those stories where it looks like he messed up and can't possibly wiggle out of it, only to reveal what has been going on behind the scenes to make it all work out. I'll admit it...I'm a dummy and Tom Taylor is a genius.
The issue ends with Batman and Superman helping Si see something that he hasn't seen in far to long and I'll admit that I got a little choked up. It's not just Si, but also Batman and Superman that make this such a special moment.
Tom Taylor is a great writer and that's why he is one of my favorites. While this issue didn't have the in your face action and crazy cliffhanger of last issue, it was great in it's own way. Really, you get what makes Batman and Superman so special displayed right before your very eyes. If you are a fan of either character or just love good comics, get this issue and arc.
Robson Rocha's art is every bit as good as Taylor's writing. Everything looks great and there are some little moments done with just the art that really push the story forward and make it great. In fact, the whole art team should take a bow.
Bits and Pieces:
Tom Taylor wraps up his mini arc in fine fashion. The way Taylor unfolds the story is so good as we see what makes each character so special...Batman shows off some major detective skills as well as planning way ahead while Superman is just a caring hero who would do anything for a guy he just met. Add Lobo and a murder mystery to the mix and we have ourselves a winner. A huge winner that I wouldn't hesitate to recommend to anyone.