Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Batman/Superman #9 Review


Explosive!

Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Clayton Henry, Alejandro Sanchez, and John J. Hill
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: June 3, 2020

I am hoping that the time away and a new arc can get me into this book.  I haven't been able to escape the feeling that Joshua Williamson's main job was to set up Hell Arisen, and now that it's over, the book doesn't have much purpose.  That said, there is always a purpose for the World's Finest to have a book, but after the lackluster Zod story we just finished, I am still worried.  So, did this Atomic story calm my nerves a bit?  Let's find out...


The issue opens up with a mystery of the "WTF?" variety.  It seems like bodies are washing up on shore in Gotham...bodies with wires and tech in and out of them.

We then get Batman giving his thoughts on Gotham, as he does, and while I understand that Joshua Williamson seems to need to explain why Batman and Superman aren't hanging out 24-7, I hope that fades away if this book is going to last.  Why that even comes up?  Well, it seems that Atomic Skull is in town, with a few days to kill. 



I like Atomic Skull, especially his recent turn as a good guy and member of the Metropolis PD, so when he was "reconditioned" by Damian Wayne in Teen Titans, I was kind of pissed at the continuity gaffe.  I have to give Williamson props here, he references the Teen Titans story and plays it off as an error that has set Atomic Skull back on a bad path.  Not a "bad guy" path, mind you, but an "I am getting chased and may explode" one.  The "may" turns into a "does", but only after Batman smells a rat and again, Williamson uses current continuity in the main Bat book as evidence. 

That's the cue for Superman to skip date night with Lois and fly off to Gotham.  Now, the Atomic Skull explosion looked enormous, and it was an atomic explosion, so I expected more damage, especially to Batman, who was at ground zero.  I'm talking significant nuclear fallout and Bruce's next of kin being notified.  However, we get a passing mention that the blast didn't cause much radiation and after Superman finds Batman, hints of a broken bone or two.



Before the explosion, Atomic Skull told Batman that a big bad was going to mess with Superman, by messing with him first.  Who it could be is a neat little mystery until it's all but solved by the cliffhanger, but Supes and Bats still don't know, and it's a character that always makes me smile when he pops up, which isn't that often.  Plus, it all ends with a "Next" that seems to reference a whacky late 90's DC Comics crossover event that was just...bannanas!

I liked this issue.  Joshua Willamson gives readers an intriguing set up with an eye on the continuity that I can get behind.  I wish things worked out better for Atomic Skull, and there should have been a bit more trouble from his demise, but I am interested in this story, and that's the first time I can say that about this book so far.

It doesn't hurt that I like Clayton Henry's work so much!  I read my books digitally, and his art combined with Alejandro Sanchez deep purples and blues made it pop!

Bits and Pieces:

Joshua Williamson has me on board this book, finally with an intriguing story filled with cool villains, a bunch of nods to current continuity, and kick-ass art by Clayton Henry.  The story does barely get moving, but I'll be checking it out next month for sure.

8.0/10

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