We’re finishing up with the overflow from last week in today’s edition. The final two books from last Wednesday’s pull feature the World’s Finest – Batman and Superman – in the two oldest books DC Comics publishes. They also happen to be two of the best books DC Comics is publishing under the DC Rebirth umbrella.
Detective Comics 939
Written by James Tynion IV
Pencils by Eddy Barrows
Inks by Eber Ferreira
What we have here is the very definition of the phrase “calm before the storm.” After Batwoman, Red Robin, Spoiler, Orphan and Clayface rescued Batman from the Colony last issue, we get an issue dedicated to what comes next, with the group preparing for the next attack from the group headed by Batwoman’s father – and Bruce Wayne’s uncle.
We get some flashbacks to the funeral for Thomas and Martha Wayne, to show the connections between Bruce and his cousin Kate. The flashbacks continue the set-up of the emotional and familial connection between Batman and Batwoman to strengthen their literary bonds as they continue the fight against the Colony.
Batman also instructs Alfred to place a call, not to his “friend in Metropolis,” but instead to use the “Black Phone” to call the President to tell him about the attacks.
But the main focus of the issue is on Tim Drake, as he furthers his work against the Black Ops group. Red Robin tells Spoiler of his plans for the future, which means going to college and leaving the superhero life behind. Since Drake seems to be the only one who has been a step or two ahead of the Colony, he continues to foil their plans by rerouting attack drones to divert them from attacking the Colony’s list of suspected terrorists in Gotham City.
Of course, he diverts the drones to all attack one target – Red Robin himself. And we leave with a cliffhanger as Red Robin prepares to face a fleet of attack drones and Batman hurriedly rushes back to try and help him.
Since the issue hit last week, there’s been a lot of talk about Red Robin’s future with the team and DC Comics promising a change we’d “never expect” within the Batman family. Tim is no longer leading the Teen Titans and he’s noticeably absent from future issue solicitations. The speculation that Tim Drake will become the next Robin to be killed is definitely growing, but I’m willing to bet it’s another red herring. We already have two former Batman agents working undercover in some capacity, so why not a third?
I guess we’ll find out when Detective Comics 940 hits shelves in two weeks.
Action Comics 962
Written by Dan Jurgens
Pencils by Stephen Segovia
Inks by Art Thibert
As Detective Comics continues a massive storyline, Action Comics gives us the conclusion to the first story arc, although the ending clearly leaves a lot of questions unanswered.
But first, the main threat must be dealt with and we spend most of the issue with Superman battling Doomsday, positioning the mindless monster toward his makeshift Fortress of Solitude so Superman can use a Phantom Zone projector. After a battle that spanned several issues, Superman uses his brains along with his brawn to neutralize the threat and make sure that everyone is safe.
Unfortunately, even with the near-constant reminders that Doomsday is the beast the killed Superman (for a time, anyway), with the amount of times that Doomsday has returned and been dealt with, he no longer comes off as the threat he once did. Jurgens did what he could to try and rehabilitate him into a proper threat, but the battle was more of a set piece to the larger mysteries that are being set up.
Even Doomsday’s defeat works towards setting up the larger mystery as the cloaked Mr. Oz reveals that he diverted Doomsday from the Phantom Zone and now has the monster captured. How does that play into his larger plot? And if Mr. Oz is in fact Ozymandias from Watchmen, why would be want Doomsday under his control? Over the course of the next two years, as DC Comics enacts its grand plan to tie Rebirth together into a larger event, will this story be a pivotal point or just another forgotten element?
With Doomsday defeated and off the board, I suppose it’s time to move on to some of the other questions Jurgens has brought up. We get a scene of Superman questioning Luthor’s motives and the archvillain defending himself and his goals in helping Metropolis. We also get a brief scene of the new powerless Clark Kent being pushed aside by Luthor. Kent is apparently the focus of the next story, aptly titled “Who is Clark Kent?”
After five years of mediocre stories within the scope of the New 52, Dan Jurgens has brought some new life into Action Comics, bringing a sense of the multiple storylines that made the Superman books of the 1990s must-reads. It’s a really great feeling looking forward to the Superman books again.