For those of you who did not know already this is a skip week for new comic books. Only, one new issue came out this week and it was one I did not feel like reviewing. So, for the first time since I started doing these reviews, I’m going to go back in time and review an issue that came out a couple of months ago.
Before I say anything about this particular issue, let me tell you a little about how I view the Superman/Batman series overall. The way I see it, no single series has soared to greater heights or sunk to lower depths in the last couple of years. When the series first started Jeph Loeb was hitting on all cylinders creatively. Loeb’s writing coupled with great art from Ed McGuinness and then Michael Turner made the first two story arcs just fabulous. Then Loeb’s writing headed almost straight down hill. His final story arc, “With A Vengeance”, was an unreadable piece of garbage. Sorry, if that seems too strong for some people but that is how I feel about it. After Loeb left the series, a string of writes came and went, each one turning out OK storylines but nothing truly memorable. Finally, the series took off again with the “Torment” storyline by Alan Burnett. Then came a one-shot Dr. Light story that was an excellent read, followed by “The Search For Kryptonite” storyline, by writers Michael Green and Mike Johnson. Unfortunately, once that storyline ended in issue #49 it was a return to just OK or worse for the series. The one glaring exception was another story by Green and Johnson called “Night And Day” in issue #63.
Writers Green and Johnson with art by Rafael Albuquerque give the reader a great stand-alone story in this issue. SPOILER WARNING In this story Gorilla Grodd has achieved almost total victory. He has driven Superman off world by filling Earth’s atmosphere with kryptonite and then kills Wonder Woman and many other heroes. With no one left to stop him, Grodd doesn’t just conquer the planet; he enslaves the minds of almost every single person. In a truly excellent bit of writing Green and Johnson have Grodd rule over a populace that thinks of him as their savior. Check out page two of the story to see how they use this idea to great effect. Most writers would simply have Grodd rule as an iron fisted despot but Green and Johnson’s way works so much better. Needless to say, one of the few people free of Grodd’s control is Batman. Now, while Batman maybe an irritating thorn in Grodd’s side he poses no real threat to Grodd’s rule. However, we all know Batman is a consummate planner and this story is no different. END SPOILER WARNING
I’m not going to tell you any more about this story because I want you to enjoy it for yourself. Now, go out and pick-up a copy before they all disappear from the shelves. I will say one more thing; I love the fact that, in this story, Superman’s greatest power is his ability to inspire others.