Batman/Superman has been an interesting blend of action, the continuation of Batman Who Laughs’ plans, and a strong case for why Batman and Superman teaming up deserve a book of their own. In this sixth issue, Batman and Superman are attempting to make amends for their secret prison under the Hall of Justice as Josh Williamson and David Marquez refocus the characters in a new direction.
This issue opens with James Gordon still infected yet telling dark truths that Gordon has kept to himself. Batman and Superman are chatting with him and feel quite bad about everything. Soon they’re off to apologize to Wonder Woman and make things right and from there the identity of this issue springs forth. It effectively does two things: First, it ties into the series what is going on across the DC universe with name drops and editor notes for a variety of books like Leviathan to referring back to older tales like The Button and that story involving two Clark Kents. Second, it re-centers Clark and Bruce, preparing them for the new threat featured on the cliffhanger page. This is very much a transition issue and it’s done well, collating a lot of information and making us aware these heroes know what is going on in the DCU. That’s a rare thing to see and it’s a welcome turn adding a bit of reality to the adventure.
There are two conflicts in this issue both of which David Marquez masterfully captures. The first involves some monsters Wonder Woman is fighting and Marquez via a double-page splash, a double page layout, and a single page. What’s amazing about this — outside of the detailed work — is how he and Williamson integrate other heroes gossiping about what Batman and Superman have done. Wonder Woman has lines that directly connect to all the “talk” and it’s a nice way to mix in action and exposition.
The second conflict is shown via a double page layout with Batman fighting Scarecrow on the left and Superman fighting Metallo. In this quick shot, we gather the two heroes who are still fighting baddies on their own, but their heads are still in the same space as they think about the secret they kept from other heroes. Again, Williamson and Marquez do a great job capturing the weight on these heroes’ shoulders, which makes their choice to rectify their mistake feel earned.
Make no mistake, this issue reads like an epilogue, making it slightly unnecessary as we steer into another story arc. It’s well done though and even though I wonder if it’s a necessary transition issue, it’s a good one.
This is a solid sixth issue that acts as an epilogue to the Batman Who Laughs conflict. The biggest win here is how it depicts these heroes and how their actions actually affect how they feel and think. Time is being taken to show there are consequences for your choices and it’s a heavy weight to bear for the two biggest DC heroes.
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