We close out a week of comics today with the World’s Finest in their own books – Superman 4 and Batman 4. Thankfully the comics are better than The Quest for Peace and Batman & Robin!
Written by Tim King
Pencils by David Finch
Inks by Matt Banning & Sandra Hope
We are ramping up for the first Bat-crossover of the Rebirth era, and the hype and the set-up isn’t subtle here this week at all. The Night of the Monster Men is coming next month, running between Batman, Detective and Nightwing and the coming of the Monster Men – I assume we’ll learn who they are sometime soon – was mentioned several times throughout the current issue of Batman.
In the “I Am Gotham” tale running through Batman right now, though, the Dark Knight is dealing with the new heroes Gotham and Gotham Girl – who are clearly patterned on Superman and Supergirl with their looks and their powers. But they’ve been manipulated by Hugo Strange and the Psycho Pirate and now a whole bunch of people are dead, Gotham Girl is freaking out in the Batcave with Alfred and new Bat-trainee-but-not-Robin Duke Thomas and Gotham is off on a rampage.
The mention of a certain “Suicidal Squad” – great timing on that corporate synergy, by the way – and a guest appearance from Amanda Waller and Gen. Sam Lane really makes the issue, though, as Batman does to Sam Lane what his pal Superman probably spent decades wishing he could do (Lane, of course, is Lois Lane’s father and pre-Flashpoint was Clark Kent’s father-in-law).
Writer Tim King definitely threw a whole lot into this issue, and I appreciate that, because it definitely makes it feel like I got my $2.99’s worth. The quality of the Rebirth Batman books have been top notch, and I’m actually looking forward to this Monster Men crossover. But we have a couple issues yet to get there.
Written by Patrick Gleason and Peter J. Tomasi
Art by Jorge Jimenez
For me, Superman and Action Comics have been the highlight of Rebirth. I’ve been loving everything that’s been done so far in both books and I look forward to each book every week. But Superman 4 may have been a little much for me.
Stepping back into the spotlight after the death of the New 52 Superman, Clark has been trying to teach his son, Jonathan, how to use his powers and deal with being part-Kryptonian. So, when the Eradicator – the program in the form of a man tasked with enforcing the purity of Krypton – goes on a rage trying to make Jon ALL Kryptonian, there are going to be problems. Last issue, the Eradicator seemed to consume Krypto the Super Dog.
This issue, we see that the Eradicator may have consumed the souls of everyone on Krypton, which were released when Superman and Jon hit Eradicator really hard. So, yeah, that guy was a little upset.
We also get the return of bar owner and former boxing champ Bibbo Bibowski, a main supporting player in the 1980s and 1990s and a cameo appearance from Clark’s adopted dad, Jon Kent, urging Clark to keep on going, the same way he did after Superman died.
Hopefully, this doesn’t result in even MORE Kryptonians in the DCU, but I’m happy to see where it goes. Superman 4 just felt more like an issue that would be better appreciated in a collected edition than a monthly periodical.
That’s all for this week, we’ll have more starting on Friday