The cover might show Batman holding a stick of kryptonite during this bought with Superman, but I assure you it’s a lot more complicated than that and if you haven’t read the previous two issues you’re going to be pretty lost. You see, there’s no kryptonite on hand. This is a super-powered, nanobot infused Batman controlled by 90 million gamers who are cranked on alien pollen supplied by Mongul. And while that all sounds incredibly ridiculous and like the sort of thing that would take a good long while to clear up, this issue, the finale of this 3-part saga, is actually quite simple.
Almost the entire comic is made up of Batman and Superman fighting, which of course isn’t going to go anywhere. You know it, I know it, and even the comic itself acknowledges that the hero vs. hero troupe is an overused one that always ends in the two good guys teaming up to take on the main bad guy. But the final confrontation with Mongul is over in a flash and so is every other sci-fi obstacle facing our heroes. In fact, most of the troubles Batman and Superman were up against are explained away in a few brief speech bubbles. And while it’s quite lame to see so much overly elaborate conflict dismissed with the most casual exposition, I’m honestly just glad to see this storyline come to an end (At least until the Batman/Superman Annual #1). This was all just an excuse to have some big, dumb action after the far more serious previous arc and I think some readers could still have fun with it, but personally I found it to be quite forgettable and the voice Greg Pak gave Batman never sounded quite right– calling Superman “Idiot” frequently got on my nerves.
As for the artwork, I think that Brett Booth and his team handle over-the-top action exceedingly well and the heavy hits played nicely on the comic’s unusual horizontal format. Dalhouse’s colors really helped this book come alive and give it the vibrant arcade feel that the video game inspired storyline was going for. On the downside, Booth still has trouble with faces looking far too similar and holding the comic book sideways to read it isn’t all that comfortable, especially when it comes time to turn the page.
- You read and enjoyed the previous two issues (this is the last of a 3-part story and not a new-reader friendly issue)
- You’re looking for colorful images of Batman punching Superman
The conclusion to one of the most outlandish storylines I’ve reviewed in some time is rather unfulfilling. Most of the comic is made up of a Batman vs. Superman fight scene that goes nowhere and the real conflict between Mongul, the gamers, the nanobots in Batman’s body, and all that pollen is shrugged off in just a few speech bubbles worth of exposition.