Wednesday, November 6, 2013

SPOILERS: Batman/Superman #5

Sometimes, there's more than one job for Superman, and while he's on space duty, breaking up some asteroids, Batman is back on earth, dealing with Metal-Zero (Metallo). When Bruce beats Metal-Zero, he has Clark, who just showed up after dealing with the asteroids, clean up. Though, soon after Bruce leaves, Metal-Zero disappears right in front of Clark's eyes.

Turns out Metal-Zero isn't real! He's a video game avatar that manifests himself into the real world thanks to the Toymaster and his engineer Agnes. As they plan to up the game so to speak, fragments of the asteroid Clark busted up fall through the atmosphere, and uh-oh, Black Mercy flowers spawn and releases spores all over the world.

While Bruce trains, and Clark finds out that Metal-Zero has been under US Army lock up, Hiro gets some new players into his game, one of the best gamers on the planet, a fellow game designer, and Jimmy Olsen, who is rich and an investor in the project. All of them go into the game thinking it's just that, and don't quite realize that their game's goal of "killing Batman" actually manifests in real life.

Later, Clark tells Bruce about Metal-Zero, which leads Bruce to go back to investigate the scene on his own, refusing Clark's help. Bruce finds Nightwing at the scene, and the two go right into investigation mode, but Bruce soon figures out it's not Nightwing, when he's attacked, followed by Nightwing flying away after he fights back.

With "Nightwing" being controlled by Jimmy and the other players, they're pretty entertained by the "recreation" of Gotham, and end up back in Toymaster's workshop, where he tries to tell them that he's real and not part of a game, which Jimmy finds to be the lamest meta story he's ever heard. Nevertheless, Bruce shuts the game down, and plans on destroying the console... though Agnes has another plan, and she might not exactly be real.

BUT BOOM, Oh shit, it's Mongul, who apparently tried to take over the earth a few years back (was that the villains month issue? didn't read it) and failed, surprisingly. But this time he's back, and he studied the earth, realizing there were millions of soldiers he could take control of who spent billions of hours practicing fighting and tactics... You know, VIDEYA GAMES!

One laser to the chest later, and Bruce is calling out for Clark's help.


The Good:

I know some people don't like Brett Booth's art, but I'm not one of those people. His work here fits the story perfectly. Yeah, going from Jae Lee to Booth is pretty much like jumping into a pool after getting out of a hot tub, but this isn't a story that would have fit Lee. This story has some seriously goofy and humorous tones to it, which Booth's art portrays very well. As for the story, like I said, it's pretty light hearted, aside from the whole Mongul taking over the world thing. It's a total tonal shift from the previous arc, but you can't deny it's entertaining. I thought the video game take on everything was pretty timely as well, given the new consoles coming out next week. Don't know if that was intentional, but hey, it works.

The Bad:

I wasn't a huge fan of Bruce and Clark's interaction through this issue. There's quite a bit put on the age difference between the two, with Bruce telling himself to go easy on being a dick to Clark because he's younger, and vis versa. I know it's the New 52 and things are different, but I don't need them to be on anything resembling shaky terms. I feel as if their friendship should be pretty solid at this point and not have stuff like Clark thinking Bruce is treating him like a kid. 

Also, the Nightwing stuff. I would have liked to have seen Bruce be a little suspicious of him being in Gotham, instead of going "Ah, this feels good, me and Nightwing work so well together!" (paraphrasing). I mean, if you're going to move Nightwing out of Gotham, at least acknowledge it.

I honestly didn't see the point of the whole horizontal deal. It was kind of annoying to read digitally, as the Comixology file didn't just keep pages in their standard orientation, which would just require me to lock the rotation, but instead, presented each individual page like this.

The Bottom Line:

Going from this issue from the last arc is somewhat of a culture shock. The visual style and tone have changed completely, but nevertheless, this issue was very entertaining in it's own way. This reminded me a lot of what the old Superman/Batman book used to be, just sort of weird out there stories, but this time around, they're actually in continuity. Unfortunately, the continuity is where a few of my hang-ups on the issue can be found, be it Bruce and Clark's interaction, or the lack of any acknowledgement of the stressed relationship between Bruce and Dick. Those minor problems aside, the issue was still fun, in a popcorn sort of way, and that's what matters most, ultimately. 


No comments :

Post a Comment