Written by: Francis Manapul
Art by: Clay Mann, Seth Mann, Brad Anderson and Steve Wands
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: November 16, 2016
I made the declaration that this book was "My Justice League" after the excellent first issue. It may not have all the characters that DC's flagship title has, but the quality was leaps and bounds better than anything we've seen since Rebirth started. The second issue, unfortunately, started showing some chinks in the armor and just wasn't as good as the first. So, does this issue get back on track by taking the White Mercy train to Gotham or does that just muddy up a story that really needs things to get...less muddy? Let's find out.
The issue opens with a scene that had to make each and every Batman fan sit up and take notice. A familiar family leaving the movie theater after watching Zorro? Yep, it's happening again! Of course, this is a bit different since Batman and the rest of the Trinity are watching it all from a rooftop while our Batman narrates it all.
Meanwhile in the real world, the Trinity is enveloped in the Mercy plant while Lois is trying to get into the barn where they and Jon are help captive. While we still aren't getting any solid rules to the story (especially during the "somewhen" parts), the art is so good that I was kind of just in it for the scenery at this point.
Back to "somewhen", we get a young Bruce being helped by a very unlikely doctor. It makes no sense whatsoever, but at least Batman is aware of the problem as well. It all continues with a nightmare scene where young Bruce interacts with the Trinity, but they come off as demons to the little guy and again, I was confused by the story, but in awe of the art.
The story ends with a heavy handed, Good Will Hunting "It's not your fault" moment with both young Bruce Wayne and our Batman being comforted by loved ones while in the real world, Lois shows nothing is going to come between her and her little boy...not a barn door or a Gotham villain who still feels a bit out of place in this story.
My love of this book is waning fast. Francis Manapul seems to be content with giving the reader smoke and mirrors instead of real answers and big looking moments instead of real story progression. Who is the big bad behind it all? What is the Mercy plant actually doing and how does it work? How does Poison Ivy know who Clark Kent, Bruce Wayne and Diana Prince are? There are so many things I want to know and I'd hope after three issues we'd know something. Not everything, mind you, but something.
I loved Clay Mann's art. He does a great job of keeping it in the style of Francis Manapul and damn it, it looks great!!! Seriously, this is one of those books that reviewers say the art is worth the price of admission alone. I won't say that because I'm not lame...but it totally is!
Bits and Pieces:
I am quickly losing interest in this book which is a shame because after the first issue, I thought I was all in. However, Francis Manapul is in no hurry to give the reader rules and answers and while Clay Mann's art is spectacular, I can't recommend this issue. Hopefully, Manapul will turn it around quick because there is a lot of potential here and I'd hate to see it go to waste.