The fighting finally ends after the latest death of one of the three monarchs in the land. Sadly, the existence of this new threat means that the war isn’t over. Hopefully knowing the truth can restore the trust between the kingdoms before it is too late.
The mother of the Amazons has died in battle. Luckily, the kingdoms now know their conflict was the result of external manipulation. However, they need discover the full extent of Alfred’s true identity and what they’re facing. There is both relief and shame in reconciling with the truth. On one hand, frenemies can now return to being allies against the greater threat. On the other hand, some wounds are extremely hard to overlook. For instance, Anissa, the Queen of Storms gets to reunite with her brother reincarnated by Constantine. The trouble is, nobody trusts Constantine anymore.
All of this began with Constantine’s flimsy prophesy about a green man. His inquisition has led to the mistrust and division between the metahumans and kingdoms of the land for decades. Not leaving anything to chance, the queens of the land hold a formal inquest even after the shapeshifter’s reveal. Admittedly, using the Lasso of Truth does nothing to help anyone feel comfortable around Alfred. It is hard not to attribute all the hysteria and mistrust to Constantine. Yet, Constantine is the first to ask everyone to reassess the situation, despite his extreme culpability in creating it.
The biggest feature of this issue is the sob story of the man from Mars. Virtually, the Martian’s tragedy is the same as always. Basically, J’onn J’ozz is a victim of a Martian civil war and refugee on Earth. He then becomes the attendant to the Waynes and the El families as a way to protect his secret. Allegedly, he did not warn anyone about his mortal enemy Protex because of Constantine’s vague prophesy. Readers may remember the name “Protex,” as the de-facto leader of the White Martian super team called the Hyper Clan. Of course, I believe that Alfred’s inaction and Constantine’s vision directly gave Protex the advantage. None of the characters are exactly “crying over spilled milk,” but both men have to help atone in some way. That aside, Protex seems like a warmly creative adversary for this kind of story.
Yasmine Putri’s artwork feels like gorgeous illuminated manuscripts. The issue has many creative angles and character poses. One that I liked very much was the cinematic low Dutch angle of Beast Boy’s intimidating dragon form. Also the colorful but tragic tribute to the fallen monarchs stood out to me as another iconic moment. Furthermore, Protex’s biggest scenes seem to mirror The Predator or the White Walkers from Game of Thrones. Looking over the glossy details on the colors never gets old. There are a few underdrawn backgrounds and characters in the Mars flashbacks, but the artwork outshines what flaws there are. Finally, the illustrations allow the art to feel grandiose and tonally exciting.
Personally, the story is relatively easy going and satisfying for now. Readers can understand Diana’s grief, Constantine’s shame, and Alfred’s regret because of its good pacing. Most of what Tom Taylor has set out to do with the material has worked as designed. I do have my suspicions about Waller being one of Protex’s minions or a White Martian herself. My beliefs align with her mysterious actions in previous chapters and the Three Kingdoms spin-off. Even still, I am a bit put off by how Taylor chooses to dispose of the Green Man. While an exciting scene, Taylor could have found a better use for the hybrid of Luthor and The Joker, especially given his major significance until this point.
- An avid reader of Dark Knights of Steel.
- You have always wanted to see a DC Universe epic set in the middle ages.
- You need a good DC series to read every now and then.
My final thoughts on this chapter are simple. The story is shifting from a political who-dun-it mystery into an action epic. That means that most of the heavy lifting of the story is over, and expecting action to be the only thing that awaits. Admittedly, the mystery has not been as clean as it could’ve. There are loose ends in the form of The Green Man, Ra’s Al Ghul, The Titans, Waller, and more, but will be less pressure going forward. Judging the mystery as is, I’d say it was decent and creative, but not quite impressive. Originally, I bought into the Dungeons and Dragons-like setting and the Game of Thrones level politics, but I know it’s time to say “let them fight” and finish it.
DISCLAIMER: DC Comics provided Batman News with a copy of this comic for the purposes of this review.