I’m not gonna lie; I absolutely loved the opening arc of this series. Seeing Bruce and Clark interact with each other at two different stages of life was both intimate and funny. A lot of people didn’t care for Jae Lee’s artwork, however, I thought it lent the focus toward the inner monologues and made for a different type of engaging read. This time around we have the same author, Greg Pak, but two different pencillers. I’m a fan of Pak’s inner monologues in this issue, but the overall story seems to detract from the charm with which we’ve become accustomed. The artwork suffers in this issue too. Instead of the spacey world Jae Lee gave us, we’re given some awkward faces and shots that serve to detract from the writing. Let’s dive into the issue a little more.
Final Hours, Second Chance
DC’s website is all over the place with information about Batman/Superman # 12. There must have been some confusion between the June delay and the Doomed thing. Nonetheless, this issue picks up with Batman and Superman remembering surprisingly quite a lot about their trip to Earth 2, especially considering Kaiyo supposedly wiped their minds clean. Here is what they rememeber:
- They were transported to another world
- They saw older versions of themselves
- They fought the older versions
- Kaiyo the Chaos Bringer, a demon, orchestrated it all
- Darkseid would attack Earth 2
We are told they remembered this from five years ago. It’s then Superman gets it in his head (mind you, five years later) that they need to go and rescue Earth 2. Good thing too because who just busts up in the place? Kaiyo to whisk them back in time to Earth 2. It was about this time, four pages in, that I started mentally wiggling around and looked toward the art to help further this convenient story, when I started noticing the odd faces of Clark and Bruce. But I pushed through because I love this comic, right? Right. So awkward faces (perhaps I should say “very expressive” instead?) aside, I attempted to buy into the comic mentally that I bought into monetarily for $3.99 plus tax. So Bruce and Clark are chilling in the Batcave talking about Kaiyo five years later and in pops Kaiyo. Cool. Lets go.
She takes them back in time to Earth 2. They are invisible.
Kaiyo places them in some sensitive moments during their alter ego’s lives where they’d like to affect the situation. I won’t ruin anything for you about these moments, but suffice it to say these are meaningful moments in both men’s lives even if they are happening to their “other ” selves. There are some strange exchanges between Bruce and Clark throughout this whole thing that are made worse by some odd faces. I don’t know. You may like them. They aren’t bad as they are just a different choice than what I’m used to. Here’s just one example in the spoiler tags:
There is more good writing and artwork than there is bad in this issue. Really, I am no one to judge either; I can only tell how I felt about the issue. I would love to be able to draw like Raney and Lashley, and I admire Greg Pak’s work tremendously. I just wasn’t as hyped as I thought I’d be while reading this issue.
- You liked the First Contact arc and you’d like to see where this is going
- You’ve been following Earth 2
- Inner monologues are your thing
This issue had its…issues. The artwork wasn’t particularly for my taste and the story seemed a little pushed. There is one thing to expect when reading a Greg Pak Batman/Superman story: there will be heart. This is what, in the end, redeems this issue. I hope to see how Kaiyo plays out in the next chapter hitting shelves next week.