Written by: Jeff King
Art by: Carlo Pagulayan and Jason Paz
[Sigh] Sometimes I hate it when I have to retract a bit of what I say before, especially right now when it comes to this comic. I’ve read up to issue #6, and it’s only by THEN does it get somewhat better and more comprehensible. This issue does get better as well, but it still has its problems.
Like I said in my review of the first issue, Earth 2 Dick Grayson is annoying. Well, less annoying here. Really the only problem I have with him is he’s narrating the whole thing, not just because it proves that narration can sometimes remove any kind of surprise, but when it’s also done from a certain character and not an omniscient narrator, then it also distances the other characters from the story and leaves the reader wondering what is going on with them. I get what is being done, trying to make Earth 2 Dick Grayson the everyman of the story, but it just seems forced. And it also takes away this being a crossover story, especially considering that it still focuses on the survivors of Earth 2.
Telos of course is still confusing as ever. He holds the heroes prisoner, then suddenly considers them not worth his time simply because their world was destroyed. It’s not like, oh I don’t know, they couldn’t possibly hinder or stop his plans, whatever those plans are! The multiple cities are still fighting each other, but only glimpses of them are actually shown (and probably explored in the friggin TIE-INS, though to be fair I’ve read some of them and they’re actually pretty good, might review them at some point). Again, what is this guy’s deal?
And remember how I pointed out in the first issue review how despite an alternate cover for Injustice, they were barely in the story? Same goes with this. Earth 2 Thomas Wayne Batman and pre-Flashpoint/New 52 Bruce Wayne Batman do meet for the first time, yet it’s not as monumental as it should be, because Earth 2 Dick Grayson is narrating the whole thing, and since he has no idea what was said between the two, that means the reader, and myself, have no idea either. It can be assumed of course that they talk about their lives, what drove them to become Batman, and how they feel towards each other as father and son, though being from parallel universes of course. But again, we won’t know, because any kind of emotional weight it’s supposed to have is absent with someone who wasn’t involved with the conversation is narrating about it and how he doesn’t know what happened. This could provide some possible foreshadowing, particularly for Grayson, who lost his son (presumably, he was taken by some mysterious cloaked woman and then the ship they were boarding was destroyed…or was it?) and his wife during the destruction of Earth 2, and what separation and possibly an eventual reunion could be like, but not much done with it.
The artwork is good too and provides excellent dynamic in the fight scenes and especially the Batmen scene, though I will point out some inconsistency with the Bruce Wayne Batman. Now, on the cover, he’s wearing the costume with the yellow oval and the bat in it. He’s wearing this on the interior as well, but later on, if looked at just closely, it looks like he’s wearing the costume with the giant bat symbol on it, and last time he’s seen in this comic, it’s back to the yellow oval and bat in it. This makes me confused as to which Bruce Wayne it is now. Is it pre-Flashpoint/New 52? Is it Earth One Batman? Which one is it? At least try to clarify!
The pacing gets better, but it just shows that despite Jeff King being an experienced TV writer, it seems like he’s just jumping into this series like he has no idea what to do and just makes it up as he goes along. He needs to apply a “show, don’t tell” approach, or at least how to do “show AND tell” better.