Issue #1 didn’t send me over the moon as it did many others, but I did enjoy it. Issue #2, however, is a far more emotional chapter that resonated just enough that it’s starting to make a believer out of me.
The story is moving along at a rather slow pace, but there are some really rich moments here. At the end of last month’s issue, Batman and Superman were teleported to “Earth 2” by a seemingly unknown villain. By sending these young heroes to an alternate reality we not only get a heartfelt moment between Clark and the family he lost but some interesting scenes with Bruce and the family he could have if only he would open up more to Selina. I really liked how author Greg Pak used the Earth 2 setting to give Clark some closure and Bruce some hope that perhaps he doesn’t have to do this all on his own. The problem is that with Justice League #1 where we see a Batman and Superman who have no memory of their first encounter. If Bruce and Clark end up losing these memories by the end of this arc then don’t these moments mean less? It’s a fascinating discussion to have but for now we can just enjoy the ride.
The one sending them on this ride, the Trickster AKA Kaiyo isn’t all that interesting to me just yet but I can see that changing in the future (when you reach the final pages you’ll see why). I dislike it when characters break the fourth wall and this Trickster seems to be being used in a Bat-Mite/Mr.Mxzyhfdiaofhewopaqfeqinenqoeqfequpoiuad sort of capacity. Her motivations are also still unclear and for the moment she’s simply there as a reason to have these cool scenes between Superman and the Kents and Batman and, well, Batman. But it’s not all kept to the Bat and Supes families in this one and we do branch out into the greater Earth 2 world and that’s where some of the most interesting stuff happens that I think a lot of readers will enjoy.
Jae Lee does indeed illustrate the entire issue this time around and just like last time there are a lot of really gorgeous page layouts and stylishly drawn characters but no backgrounds. There are definitely some very iconic images in this chapter though. More than in issue #1. I’m talking poster-worthy stuff that people are going to be awing over (and not just Batman and Superman fans) plus some silent pages in which the gestures of the characters (sometimes just their shadows) is more than enough to convey everything.
Here are a few more points I want to make but need to keep brief because there are so many other books to review and Comic-Con articles to cover:
- Jae Lee’s minimalist way of doing things in the batcave got a bit confusing and the narrative boxes didn’t help much either. Greg Pak’s choice to have the Earth 2 heroes get their own inner monologue made some scenes a little hard to follow at first. The blue Batman is the Earth Prime Batman, but his inner monologue is shown in grey boxes while the grey Batman is the Earth 2 Batman and his inner monologue is shown in blue boxes.
- It’s his style and all but I get bored with so many panels of silhouettes in front of a greenish-grey background.
- SpoilerCatwoman should be more alarmed that there are 2 versions of her husband in the same place. She was awfully cool about the whole thing.
- There were a number of not only heartfelt moments in this issue but funny ones as well both on Superman’s side and Batman’s.
- A silly bat-fact that’s just fun to throw out is that Batman is most commonly shown to make the noise “Hrm.” not “hmp.”
- I’m really curious about how Greg Pak will make this story fit with what we saw in Justice League #1.
- The ending really impressed me and has me very excited for the next installment. A really great final page.
- I still wish we were getting more pages for the $3.99 price, but it’s nice to have fewer ads and the glossy cover. I really wish that more publishers would adopt Image’s method of simply putting all the ads in the back though.
If you liked the last issue then you’re going to love this one and if you just thought the first issue was okay (like I did) then this is going to be a step up for sure. There’s plenty of material here that will make you smile and it has an ending that will supply you with more than enough to talk about.