Ugh. Another month, another bad comic. Last issue ended with fake Cassie siccing the entire fake Justice League on Tim, Bart, and Connor. It made no sense then. (How will a fake Batman punching Tim make him accept a new life in this reality?) Spoilers! It makes no sense now. You can tell how I feel about this issue already. It’s notably worse than the last one in every way… and I gave that a 2/10. So, strap in. I’m going hard this month.
First off, the art continues to decline. I wasn’t exactly sure why I felt that way at first. I remembered praising the art in issue one and the output here didn’t seem to look much different. I was at the point of wondering if I had been too kind before. So, I looked back to refresh my memory and I was kind of shocked by what I found. The art in issue one is vastly superior. A night and day difference. I’m not only talking about the linework. The colors feature the same decline. In a way, it’s subtle. The style hasn’t changed and it’s not like there are blatant examples of misproportioned figures or unpolished work. Nevertheless, it is a totally different experience. The dynamism is lost. The backgrounds are missing or simplified. The figures lack nuance. The facial expressions that I enjoyed so much before no longer have that zing! The colors are dull and don’t merge with the linework. Rather, they feel like a separate layer. It’s clear Luis Guerrero is struggling to keep up because Hi-Fi was brought in to assist. Unfortunately, his work isn’t really any better.
This all results in art that is flat out boring. It feels like there is a lack of emotion being conveyed. The most important takeaway: these are good artists doing subpar work. I have to assume these pages are being rushed out to meet the deadline. Braga only has time to make the drawings correct, not good. Perhaps she also knows the quality of the story she is drawing and that is affecting her work. That’s just my hypothesis, of course.
Regardless, it is a thought that brings me back to Fitzmartin’s script. Half the comic is made up by the fight the last issue set up. A fight comic can be fun, but it requires two crucial ingredients: stellar art (with great choreography) and good scripting. I’ve probably already bemoaned the art enough but I’ll just point out, the choreography is terrible.
I have no idea what’s happening here. People swinging their arms and moving around randomly. Oh boy! Fitzmartin does bear some of the blame for that. I don’t know if she writes full script or not but whatever instruction she does give is not helping.
Dialogue is a big part of the problem too. There are 111 panels in this comic. A grand total of three are silent. Most of the words are unnecessary. Just stuff to fill the panel because “that’s how you make comics.” Trust. Your. Artist. This is a visual medium and no one (with a brain) is going to devalue a writer just because they don’t see many words on the page. Si Spurrier released an entirely wordless comic this year. I can be done.
Unsurprisingly, the plot is ludicrous as well. This is one more example of a decompressed comic. Fitzmartin certainly didn’t need six issues to tell this story. It doesn’t help that every piece of drama is forced. Superboy spends the whole issue trying to convince his friends to stop fighting and just accept the world. WHY? “Because he didn’t die on this world.” That’s the best you’ve got? That doesn’t even matter! He still died. He still has that memory. So what if the other people in this world don’t? Oh yeah, and these other people? They’re the ones trying to KILL HIM.
The other half of the issue is devoted to Cassie and Cissie’s drama. It’s not any better.
All of a sudden, their roles are switched and Cassie is mad at Cissie who now wants to be friends. There’re some annoying insinuations about it being ok for Cissie to ignore the boys but not Cassie. Lest we forget, the boys are all douchebags and everyone hates them! Ugh. It’s just so tiring.
All I want is for these characters to be friends again (as they always were until four months ago).
- I don’t
This comic is utterly worthless. Initially, it had the art going for it. Now that’s gone. The writing was at least mildly intriguing in the first issue but it sunk with part two. This issue spends most of its time on an incompetent fight, taking away any chance it had for interesting developments. This is, indeed, a comic that exists.
Thus, I award thee the coveted:
DISCLAIMER: DC Comics provided Batman News with a copy of this comic for the purpose of this review.