After months of the back-up story featuring Man-Bat, aka Dr. Kirk Langstrom, and his wife, Francine Langstrom, John Layman has brought their exciting story to the forefront. Layman’s take on Man-Bat and She-Bat, who goes by Bat-Queen, is a nice twist to the original version. Francine’s proactive role in becoming She-Bat, along with her mutated bats, makes her a much more formidable foe than she previously was. The slow-build approach that Layman is taking with his arcs has been working out terrifically. Aaron Lopresti does a commendable job on the issue, however, there are times where it seems like he’s trying to mimic other artists, as opposed to sticking with his own style which is great in its own right. 4/5
Writer: Greg Pak
Artists: Brett Booth, Norm Rapmund, and Andrew Dalhouse
Cover Artists: Brett Booth, Norm Rapmund, and Andrew Dalhouse
While there are still some minor details that keep this series from being great, Greg Pak still manages to make this issue a fun read. The virtual reality/gaming experience is a great plot line, and is a great social commentary on the large amounts of violence in video games and the detachment from that violence by the gamers. The biggest problem with this story, is that while there was a time jump forward from the first arc, Batman and Superman still have a strained, if not terrible, relationship. They don’t trust each other, they don’t work in tandem, basically they’re barely even a team-up. The decision to have this entire story illustrated sideways, while annoying in the first issue, actually works out quite well in this issue. Brett Booth, with Norm Rapmund and Andrew Dalhouse, work wonderfully together. This book has a wonderfully energetic feel to it that works great with the nature of the story.3/5
A new avatar to the Green has been appointed, and Alec Holland is forced to watch his successor without the power to stop him. The Seeder, Jason Woodrue, was never meant to be Swamp Thing, and that is fairly evident in the way he handles multiple situations in this issue. What makes this issue work, on the other hand, is in Charles Soule’s tremendous storytelling skills. He weaves Woodrue’s past into the present, giving readers an origin of sorts, while also laying out the direction in which Woodrue’s tenure as Swamp Thing will be headed. Jesus Saiz does some of his best work in this issue. His linework, his layouts, character designs, everything looks great. Matthew Wilson does an excellent job on colors. For a book that relies heavily on green, it is a testament to Wilson’s skills that each issue never feels overwhelmingly green, but rather beautifully balanced. 4.5/5
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