Reviews For BATMAN AND TWO-FACE #24 & BATMAN/SUPERMAN #4
This week a definitive Two-Face arc launches and the first arc of Batman/ Superman goes out with a, well, you'll just see. What did I think of these two brand new comics from DC? Hit the jump to check out my take on them!
BATMAN AND TWO-FACE #24 by Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason
The Title Formerly Known As Batman and Robin continues this month with Two-Face sharing the spotlight. It really surprised me that a villain is the co-star and not a hero like we have seen since the death of Robin. (Red Robin, Red Hood, Batgirl, Catwoman, and Nightwing were the recent co-stars if you haven't been keeping track.) To be quite honest, this is very much a Two-Face issue because Batman isn't in this book that much. The character of Harvey Dent has been dealt a less than fortunate hand in The New 52 and Tomasi is doing his best to rectify that in the beginning of this five issue arc.
As I stated, this is a Two-Face issue and we even get to see his New 52 origin. Yes, he is still scarred by acid, but it goes down a bit differently. I won't give all the details, but this time mobster Erin McKillen deals the big burn and not Sal Maroni. Tomasi recently stated that this arc would involve someone with a mad-on for Harvey Dent and it is indeed a huge, throbbing mad-on. It's obvious that because of this The Long Halloween and Dark Victory are not part of the new continuity. I did feel like there was a pleasant nod to those stories because we get to see the mobsters congregate and conspire to rid Gotham of the "freaks" that are taking over their town.
As for the art side of the coin, Patrick Gleason's artwork is quite pleasing to the eye. I've always felt that his art has had a unique quality to it. He's a perfect fit for a Two-Face story because he does phenomenal work with textures. I mean, just look at the scarring on Harvey's mug. He was actually my favorite artist during last year's Death of the Family crossover because I felt he drew Joker's skin mask better than anyone else. If you don't know what I'm talking about, you can pick up Batman and Robin, Volume 3: Death of the Family in hardcover next month and see for yourself.
The one thing that perplexed me this month was the absence of Carrie Kelly. She's been a big part of the series recently and I swear it was said that she would be in this month's issue. Regardless, next month's issue is titled "Batman and Carrie Kelly", before switching back to "Batman and Two-Face" for at least another two issues. Don't be taken aback when you see my final score for this issue because it actually was pretty good. I just think a lot of the substance is yet to come as we get deeper into this arc because there's a lot of setup in this issue. With the main Batman title spending a year in the past, this one is the one that seems to most affect Batman's status quo in the present and that is one of the key reasons why it's worth your time and money. Score: 7.5/10.
BATMAN/ SUPERMAN #4 by Greg Pak, Jae Lee, and Ben Oliver
I'm really upset that a title that focuses squarely on my two favorite characters is letting me down like this. The first two issues were tolerable and then I felt that Pak really hit his stride with issue three. The internal monologue and verbal exchanges between Clark and Bruce were just so spot on that it reminded me of the Jeph Loeb days. It's still somewhat present here, but there are a few missteps in that department, at least in my eyes.
The dynamic of Earth 2's older, more experienced Batman and Superman being pitted against our Earth's younger counterparts has been pretty interesting, but this isn't as big of a climax as I was hoping for. It's mostly just the heroes slapping each other around. Darkseid's daughter, Kaiyo, does her little Deus ex Machina at the end that most of us saw coming since the first issue. On the subject of Darkseid, I was really hoping to see some of him in this issue. It's kind of a tease and I have the feeling that DC is planning something big with him. He does factor in to the next arc of Earth 2, but I have a feeling that something more grandiose is brewing. I'm not sure if we'll see him in this title anytime soon because it appears that Mongul is the villain for the second arc.
I'm probably in the minority when I say this, but I'm not really a fan of Jae Lee's art. Yes, it does look good, but it just has this weird quality to it, especially the way he draws faces. I just find it very off-putting. Another complaint of mine is that he doesn't draw detailed backgrounds, so it looks like everything takes place in a void. I'm actually quite happy to see him go for a few issues while Brett Booth takes over. There is a switch to Ben Oliver toward the end of the book. It takes place when things go back to normal, so it's not too jarring. I wish I got the Tony Daniel variant cover that's pictured in this article, which is ten times better than the standard one.
Before The New 52, Superman/ Batman was one of my favorite titles. With DC having so much to offer right now, I'm not sure I can stick with this one on a regular basis. Score: 6.5/10.
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