Picking up right where the last issue left off, this issue starts up with Red Robin and Robin going up against the Architect. Just as Black Bat and Batman arrive to help, the Architect escapes to make his final move. As with the previous issues, flashbacks continue to make a presence as we witness Nicholas Anders’s growing hatred towards Gotham’s elite.
I thought this issue was really good. What I’ve really liked about this entire series is how the bulk of the story really takes place in the past, while the present is primarily focused on the relationships between the four children of the Bat. That was a great way of pacing out the story in a manner that kept things fresh and interesting. With more of the Architect’s past being revealed, the Architect is looking more and more like an individual carrying on Anders’s legacy, which works perfectly as a parallel to the four protagonists of the story. The Architect thus embodies the history of Gotham, while Dick, Tim, Cassandra, and Damian embody the spirit of the Batman in the ever present, ever constant struggle between Gotham and Batman. 4/5
This issue starts us off with a brief history of Tannarak’s life and his altercations with the Phantom Stranger. Time and time again, it appears, Tannarak attempted to claim the Earth as his own. And every single time the Phantom Stranger was there to aid in his defeat. This time, however, the Phantom Stranger is being held captive and cannot help Superboy.
Interestingly enough, my favorite parts of this book had nothing to do with Superboy. The flashbacks chronicling Tannarak’s repeated defeats at the hands of Phantom Stranger were infinitely more entertaining than the handful of pages we got of the present in which Superboy struggles against Tannarak’s magic. Not only was the story better, but the art was leaps and bounds better than the present day art. Considering this series is coming to an end, only to be rebooted, I think it was strange for this issue to have so little of both Superboy and his supporting cast, who have an ongoing story line but make no appearance in this issue. Overall this issue was good, except for the fact that there is virtually no story progression. 3/5
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