Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen #2 Review

Bad Brains

Writer: James Tynion IV
Artist: Steve Epting, Javier Fernandez, Nick Filardi, and Travis Lanham
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: January 22, 2020

This is the big thing going right now and while I wanted a little bit more from the opening issue, I have been waiting for this issue since the last one ended.  I am all about being #TeamLex and hope this one gets the baled headed bad guy on top or at least equal to the Batman Who Laughs.  Well, does it?  Let's find out...

The issue opens with Lex squaring off against the Infected sans the Commissioner with the Batman Who Laughs watching from a monitor.  We found out in the last issue that Lex's apex powers can't affect the Infected, but Lex has a big brain and goes at them with that.  

Lex has come prepared and plus, he's got the home-field advantage and before you know it, the infected are down and out.  It was a great start and shifts the momentum Lex's way and makes this a ball game again!

Of course, the Batman Who Laughs isn't going to roll over and play dead and we see that he has a plan as well.  I'm not sure how willing his new player is (is he actually an ally even?), but just seeing him is exciting and one of those things that make a book feel like an event. 

We then get an extended bit with Mercy Graves and Lex that makes sense and helps flesh out the story, but in my opinion, it went on a little too long and threw off the pacing of the issue.  

Things get moving again as we see Lex cosplaying as one of my favorite characters to gain entrance to the Hall of Justice, but what he finds out is not good for him, the heroes and the world as a whole.  I guess the Batman Who Laughs has been busy behind the scenes because his army has grown a bit bigger than the Secret Six!  That's big, but the issue ends with something that might be even bigger if it comes to be... but it's one of those things that never ends fully happening the way you hope.

This was a good second issue that follows up on the first issue well and then becomes an escalating arms race of awesome characters.  Sides were already drawn before this started, but they are becoming a lot more interesting!  

The art was okay... I could have done with a bit more Steve Epting over Javier Fernandez.  I am not a fan of Fernandez at all, but that's a taste thing and if you like his art, you get a lot of it here.

Bits and Pieces:

James Tynion IV raises the stakes of Hell Arisen by showing that no matter what, Lex Luthor's brain is his most dangerous weapon, but the Batman Who Laughs is no slouch either.  Both sides are involved in a meta arms race heading towards their inevitable battle.  I will be there when the stuff hits the fan!



  1. So this miniseries takes place after JL #39 right? So why would they release this Before? I was under the impression the end of the JL/Doom story was essential for this story. On that note, wtf is taking so long with JL #39?!

  2. JL #39 was delayed 2 weeks that caused more issues than we even had before! I'm guessing things were changed and that's what the delay was for.

  3. Well now that I was FINALLY able to read this issue now that JL 39 came out in confused. When did Phantom Stranger get captured? Was the one in JL 39 a fake or was there another issue I missed? đŸ¤”

    1. No, you didn't miss anything. Out of nowhere one of the Quintessence, who could fool the goddess of the Multiverse into thinking the Justice League were dead was just captured by the Batman Who Laughs.

    2. Ok thanks. Here's my other question: before Commisioner Gordon was infected he and Batman appeared to be on good terms. But over Batman, they clearly had a falling out after what Batman did to KGBeast with Gordon going so far as to smash the Batsignal with a baseball bat which was also intact before Gordon was infected. So my question is did Gordon and Batman patch things up off panel or again did I miss something?

    3. the answer, like most things in that Batman run....... Tom King doesn't know how to tell or continue or end a story. It was just left open in the Batman books, but their relationship seemed fine everywhere else.