The Multiplicity arc ends with an anticlimax.
Superman loses his fight with Prophecy, whom then takes Superman to join the other captured Supers in digging their own mass grave. Meanwhile, the rest of the Supers that the Justice League Incarnate rescued escape back to the Multiversity, and prepare to follow a signal to get all the captured Supers back and defeat Prophecy.
The problem in this issue is that Superman’s plan flops between being completely thoughtless at one moment, to a deus ex machina the next. The way the plan works in the book – if it went exactly according to plan – Superman knew it would involve another character sacrificing their lives, which seems very out of character. And if it didn’t go according to plan, then the entire climax makes even less sense, and works – literally – because they hoped it would.
This issue really feels like a they squandered the potential of this arc, and is the first real disappointing Superman arc since Rebirth.
Seeking revenge after the events of I Am Suicide, Bane warns Batman the he is coming to Gotham, and that he’ll kill anybody standing between him and retrieving Psycho Pirate. Fearing for the safety of the people he cares about, Bruce tells all the sidekicks, and everyone who worked with him during I Am Suicide to leave Gotham until Bane is out of the picture. Predictably, everyone wants to stay to help Batman. That doesn’t exactly go well.
After an explosive, mostly-wordless, opening scene where Bronze Tiger saves Batman from a would-be assassin, the majority of this book involves Bruce gathering Dick, Jason, Damian, and Duke together at a Batman-themed fast-food restaurant to tell them to get outta dodge. The juxtaposition of having all the Batman characters sitting down in a fast-food kitsch version of their branding is silly enough, and the humor of it does compliment the different tones that Bruce and his sidekicks are bringing to the conversation. I’m really uncomfortable with Bruce eating his hamburger with a knife and fork; but it is always fun to have all the Robins in the same room, and Duke even finds his own niche between them.
The tone then takes a couple dramatic shifts when Batman runs into Catwoman and tells her of the threat Bane poses, and then heads back to the manor to meet with Alfred and help Gotham Girl continue her therapy.
It’s a bit of a rough start to the arc – the tone is all over the place – and I am pretty tired of stories where Batman forces everyone out of his life “for their own safety.” But depending on how the next few issues parley the cliffhanger to this one, this story could have legs yet.
Nightwing works with Shawn and detective Svoboda to track and take down Mr. Nice, and exonerate the Run-Offs.
This is a pretty standard end-of-arc issue. Nightwing finds Mr. Nice, Nice explains his motivations, they get into a fight, Shawn and Svoboda assist a bit, badda-bing badda-boom. Intentional or not, Svoboda is thoroughly unlikable through the entire issue, and not likable-unlikeable, just kind of a character who is abrasive and who I don’t want to pop up again. The romantic subplot between Dick and Shawn has a nice payoff, but the ending of the issue and arc overall feels a little overwrought, with Dick monologuing about how “Bludhaven is different then I thought it would be when I got here” over a montage of him leaping through the city.
This looks like a book I’ll switch to trades on for the next arc.
Green Arrow #16
Green Arrow reconnects with Emi – now Red Arrow – and teams up with Police Chief Westburg to bring down the Vice Squad.
This series continues to be just a ton of fun. A tense opening reunion between Ollie and Emi is resolved with a loving hug. The Green Arrow gang manages to fight off the Vice Squad and save an innocent without any collateral damage. Westburg fires a tank. Seattle learns how to love Green Arrow again, and Ollie reconnects with his new family. Things take a very dark turn in the final pages, but everything before that is pure good hearted fun superhero comics action. It’s a little cheesy and a little schmaltzy, but it’s still very well done overall. Simply fun.
Paper Girls #11
After a nightmare (not unlike the one Erin had in issue #1), KJ wakes up with the rest of the girls in the forest they ended up in last arc. Mac runs into a native of this forest when she explores a bit on her own to ponder her mortality, and through exposition given to us by yet another time traveler, we find out that we’re in 11,706 BCE.
What stuck out at me most this issue was the opening dream sequence where (I think this is the first time it’s brought up) we learn that KJ is Jewish, and find out how she feels about her heritage as a part of her own identity. It doesn’t really come up at all after the opening, but given the current political climate, seeing a depiction of someone with blue numbers on their forearm really hit a nerve.
As for the rest of the issue, it’s hard knowing exactly where things go from here. The girls seems completely stranded, and have no clue how to communicate with the one other person they meet. They’ll probably meet up with the new time-traveler eventually, but as for everything else, it’s a mystery. But it’s as nice to check back in with Erin, Mac, KJ, and Tiff as ever.
My LCS had a bit of an inventory hiccup, so I couldn’t pick up any Marvel books today, and they still didn’t get Uber #2 in. Marvel review will be up by Saturday, or next Wednesday. Uber #2 will be likely reviewed along with Uber #3.