Writer: Jeff King
Artist(s): Stephen Segovia, Jason Paz, and Peter Steigerwald
I’ll admit, this issue was okay, but also a little frustrating. Things seem to pick up more as the Earth 2 group encounters Deimos, a supervillain from The Warlord series. Harkening back to my frustration with Zod and the governments in Superman: Earth One Vol. 3, the characters seemingly trust Deimos even though he looks so obvious like a supervillain! He’s got red eyes, a demonic-looking version of Doctor Strange’s outfit, and he talks like Doc Ock when he was Superior Spider-Man, talking so obviously villain-like yet he’s believed to be a good guy.
There’s also some filler moments with Telos going to Kandor to get them to participate in his experiment, but they refuse so he destroys most of them, most notably the Kryptonians Nightwing and Flamebird (also for those who don’t know, they were the inspirations for Dick Grayson and other characters to take up the mantles of those characters), and some woman named Shakira imprisoning time-travelers like Monarch (though it’s unclear whether it’s Hank Hall or Nathaniel Adam), Per Degaton, and others.
Earth 2 Thomas Wayne Batman and Dick Grayson meet up with the others and fill them in on what’s going on. They split up again in order to cover more ground, but really Thomas wants to buy the others time to stop Telos because he’s out of Miraclo, losing his strength and endurance, and that they were followed by some of the pre-New 52 Gotham villains. Deimos leads the others to Skartaris, the setting of The Warlord series, somehow located beneath the surface of the planet and yet not in a dome like the other cities. Also, the way he talks about how he was “banished” from Skartaris and the way he looks at it when they get there, it just really seems so obvious that he’s a bad guy.
When the villains fight Batman and Grayson, they just seem to act pretty generic. I guess it’s supposed to illustrate how all these characters are in a desperate situation, but still. Thomas sacrifices himself by blowing himself up along with the villains and saves Grayson, and while at first it seems bad that he got killed off, it is a pretty good sendoff. The guy was old, he’s made peace with his son (an alternate version of him, anyway) and granddaughter, and he spent his last days fighting instead of just sitting it out. It’s almost made pointless when pre-New 52 Joker shows up out of nowhere and shoots Grayson in the spine (something ironic about that, I guess), then he gets his neck twisted by Telos and dies, with Telos demanding him to reveal where his friends are.
This issue was better than the others, but still kinda bland. The writing goes at a faster pace, but building up Deimos as a new villain for the story is weird and makes me wonder who the real villain of the story is supposed to be since super mega giant Brainiac, Telos, and now Deimos have all been featured. The killing of Earth 2 Thomas Wayne was a pretty good sendoff and not forced, though I can’t say the same for Joker. Yeah, he’s my favorite villain, but really what was the point of shoving him in there and then killing him off? The more I read of this story, the more I think of how this couldn’t have just been in the Earth 2 series instead of just cancelling it, not to mention having a spinoff maxiseries when the story in that could’ve been used for the ongoing. Time will tell, I guess.