Every time I review this book, it reminds me of that Daniel Tosh bit where he keeps the joke going and going until there’s just one person in the audience laughing. Except no one here is laughing. Dan Abnett is doing his very best with the limited story he’s given, which is thread-bare at best. We also get three artists this month, one for each section. Eduardo Francisco takes the first chapter, where his combat scenes pop off the page and give the book the frantic pace expected of a massive hero battle. Szymon Kudranski is in charge of the second chapter, which was by far the least appealing. It focuses largely on Batman and Luthor, neither of which look particularly cool or, at some points, human. The third chapter is given to Christian Duce, who does an excellent job of illustrating some very cool scenes that should have led to a tightly-wrapped ending to this book.
Chapter Twenty-Two: Earth-Prime Flash and Atomic Wonder Woman have found the original Monitor, who explains that he made fifty-one copies of himself to distract the Nightmare Metallo army and buy the heroes more time. He explains that he cannot use any of Nil’s defenses against the forces of Nightmare Brainiac before promptly collapsing. Outside, Gaslight Luthor, Gaslight Catwoman, and Arcane Supergirl – who is probably the strongest of any the heroes gathered – are fighting the Nightmare Metallo army. It looks like they will be pushed back when Earth-Prime Batman and his forces jump in to provide backup. It’s a ton of fighting, like pages and pages of fighting, and ends with Nightmare Robin and Gaslight Catwoman surrounded by the Metallos.
Chapter Twenty-Three: Catwoman throws Harbinger’s Orb at the Metallos, which disintegrates a whole group of them. Batman decides to take Luthor to the Monitor to see if he has any more artifacts that can be used to fight. While the rest of the heroes battle against Brainiac’s forces, Batman and Luthor meet with the Monitor, who tells them he cannot use Nil’s defenses because Brainiac’s advance team corrupted them. Or something. Luthor says that he’ll make it work, because someone who just harnessed electricity can suddenly commandeer an alien technology designed by a race thousands of years older than humanity. Being smart does not mean that you can instantly comprehend all technology in the universe. It was like in Justice League Unlimited when Luthor sees the Anti-Life Equation and can comprehend it. The symbols wouldn’t even be the same. It would just be nonsense. But whatever, because comics, and plot devices, and convenience. Oh, and then he needs Zatanna to use magic in order to keep the corruption contained. So he’s balancing physics and magic, because Luthor knows all about magic when he lives on a planet that has yet to move past steam power. Flash is consistently the best character for me, but Nightmare Robin is closing the gap with each page.
Chapter Twenty-Four: Oh, big time fake out. Luthor starts talking about universal domination and then the next panel is all “just kidding, wasn’t that funny?” Long story short, the team is able to reverse the corrupted weapons and use them against Brainiac and the Metallos. It works, and all the Metallos get blown to hell and Brainiac is forced to retreat. Once all is settled, the heroes get sent back to their respective worlds, which is easily the second-coolest thing that I’ve seen in this series other than the Pulp Fate battle last issue. It was a nice wrap-up to the series…OH WAIT.
You would think this would be it, right? This is the end of the first arc and now the game’s story is going to begin, right? So we can let this series die painlessly and slip into obscurity like the game it’s based off of, right? Nope! It seems that this series is going to keep existing and powering onward. To what exactly, I do not know; but the end of this arc gives me the smallest glimmer of hope that something remotely interesting might come from this book.
- Oh look, Luthor turned out to want world domination. I’m shocked.
Favorite Quote: “Like I said…long story.” – Flash
- You like fighting.
- You’ve been keeping up on this for whatever reason.
Overall: The potential of this series keepings being diminished by the weak writing, less than spectacular artwork, and a rehashed premise that has been run into the ground. We’re given an opportunity to explore new worlds and unique characters, but the focus is just so limited that it spites itself. If there is one thing this book has going for it, it would be the action sequences, so if you like fighting, pick this up.