This week’s DC Comics review roundup goes in depth with Superman #8, the trade release of Mister Miracle and The Batman Who Laughs #3.
2019 might be the year of the Bat as Batman approaches his 80th anniversary with the arrival of Detective Comics #1000, but there are still big events taking place across the DC universe. This week’s review roundup features a check-in with the Man of Steel, the most famous New Gods couple and a Batman-Joker hybrid who won’t stop until Batman has been defeated.
Script: Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils (pp 5-13): Ivan Reis
Art (pp 1-5, 14-23): Brandon Peterson
Inks (pp 5-13): Joe Prado
Colors: Alex Sinclair
Letters: Josh Reed
Superman #8 is the second installment of “The Unity Saga: The House of El.” Jon Kent is back and he’s trying to explain what happened during the trip with his grandfather that somehow led to five years of aging and more questions than answers. Clark and Lois want to be sure Jon is healthy so they run tests on him. He’s definitely healthy, and he’s Jon Kent without a doubt.
Receiving confirmation that this really is his son is not easy for Clark, who has to go blow off some steam before returning to continue the conversation about what happened between his son and father.
Superman #8 reveals that Grandpa El isn’t exactly a monster, rather he seems to be conflicted about his existence and the fact that science can’t offer him any answers. Aside from Jon’s mysterious aging, Grandpa El’s story is the one that’s far more interesting. He’s trying to do good things, but it’s not working for him and the exercise in futility is taking its toll.
Writer Brian Michael Bendis seems to be leading readers toward a revelation that there’s more to the story than meets the eye, but explanations might have to wait because Jon’s about to tell the tale of an encounter with the Crime Syndicate. Jon’s stories are interesting, but so too are Clark’s reactions to losing so much time with his son. He never expected this to happen, and watching him deal with the fallout is going to be something that the Man of Steel will be forced to deal with for quite some time.
Mister Miracle (Trade Edition)
The collected trade edition of Mister Miracle came out this week and for fans of Scott Free, Big Barda and Darkseid (Darkseid is…), it’s the consummate edition for your comic book collection. That, and it’s a damn good story.
Mister Miracle is the comic book event of 2018, and with good reason. The Eisner Award-winning dynamic duo of writer Tom King and artist Mitch Gerads brought this beautiful story to life, creating a fresh new adventure for two of the most beloved New Gods.
Scott Free (a.k.a. Mister Miracle) and Big Barda settle down and embark on a blissfully domestic life. The birth of their son is a major moment for the couple, but even the master escape artist can’t escape his past back on Apokolips. Scott Free is incredibly relatable as he ponders being a god while also waiting for the birth of his son.
For readers looking for a major “event” kind of book, it’s the perfect read. This collected volume of the twelve-issue maxiseries has been hailed as one of the most important comic book stories in years.
The Batman Who Laughs #3
Writer: Scott Snyder
Colors: David Baron
Letters: Sal Cipriano
Things take a dark turn in The Batman Who Laughs #3 as Batman races against the clock to stop his menacing alter ego before it’s too late. With so much of the Joker toxin in his system, though, his time is running out.
Batman recruits Jim Gordon’s help because the secret to stopping the Batman Who Laughs could rest with Gordon’s wayward son James. James is reluctant to help, and even if he could he’s not sure he can make a difference.
The Joker, meanwhile, keeps flirting with death but he’s not dead yet. The juxtaposition of a still-alive Joker with a gaping wound in his chest and Batman fighting to maintain control of his sanity is powerful. Batman is slipping away, but unlike the Batman Who Laughs he isn’t the product of loss and a lack of control, so perhaps Bruce Wayne can rally around the toxin in his system and use the transformation rather than succumb to it.
Scott Snyder’s twisted tale of the otherworldly Batman Who Laughs is ramping up now that the story has reached the halfway mark. At this point it looks like Batman, our Batman, can’t keep the transformation from happening and we have to wonder what would happen if he gives in. How much of Bruce Wayne will remain and how much control will he have?
Be sure to check out Superman #8, Mister Miracle and The Batman Who Laughs #3, all available now at your local comic shop.