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LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham
"LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham" is the next instalment to the blockbuster LEGO "Batman: The Videogame" and "LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes" videogames.
Cover date: July 2006
Writer: Mark Waid
Penciller: Barry Kitson & Adam DeKraker
Inker: Mick Gray & Drew Geraci
Reviewed by: Jeffrey Bridges
Things like evil, homicidal robots.
Centuries ago an artificial intelligence threatened all of human life, and so people were forced to banish every AI in self-defense. And so the machines waited for the right time, and now they're revolting from their banishment.
The Science Police rush to meet them, where we see that Legion member Chameleon has been taking the form of a human and moonlighting as one of them for reasons as yet unexplained.
We cut to Brainiac 5 who has some villain named Lemnos in stasis. Apparently Lemnos was responsible for Dream Girl's death several issues back. Brainy has some microscopic people (Imskians) working on Lemnos for him, trying to mine his unique power of negating memory. This is somehow going to help him bring Dream Girl back to life. Timberwolf arrives and delivers an unseen artifact to Brainy, which is also supposed to help in this endeavor even though we only see the box it's being kept in.
A few Naltorians are then seen communicating with members of the Legion about the fact that Dream Girl's body was never returned to them after she died.
Next we have an incredibly cool scene with Supergirl, Saturn Girl and Cosmic Boy. Saturn Girl linked Cosmic Boy's and Supergirl's minds so that he could try and help "pull out some memories", and we see a page right out of Infinite Crisis with Supergirl and many other heroes from Donna Troy's "space team" being sucked into some kind of glowing vortex, but Supergirl apparently doesn't remember any of the events leading up to that moment.
Kara then spends a few moments playing with her flight ring which, when she takes it off, first changes her appearance to that of a girl with brown hair and blue eyes and after she puts it back on and takes it off again, changes her appearance to a girl with black hair, black eyes and glasses. Lightning Lad and Ultra Boy then run into the room and inform everyone of the robot situation, and they take off to stop them.
We cut to Projectra and a scene where she's made illusions of her dead parents to comfort herself, but she's interrupted by Star Boy who stops by to check on her simply because he's concerned for her well-being, which she says no one has ever done before.
Back to Supergirl and the Legion, who bust in on the robot riot and start dismantling them all to save the Science Police, who aren't faring too well. Eventually the robots are stopped and a member of the SP reveals that the largest robot was being fueled with some sort of special powder, Xenodust. Supergirl scans it with microscopic vision and finds that Atom Girl is inside of it.
Supergirl and the Legion members follow her back to Brainiac 5, who wanted a sample of the dust. The rest of the Legion finds out Brainy still has Dream Girl's corpse and are none to happy about it, and it becomes obvious that he did indeed give Dream Girl's flight ring to Supergirl. Just then Rol Purtha shows up and claims he's Dream Girl's replacement to Legion as appointed by the United Planets.
Story - 5: Make no mistake, there is no way that this is a bad issue by any stretch of the imagination. The writing is solid, the story advances on multiple fronts and there are good character moments and development. Still this comic is head and shoulders above most other comics I'm presently reading.
We get great dialogue and character moments with Supergirl and Ultra Boy during the fight with the robots, great character moments between Star Boy and Projectra and with Brainiac and his seeming obsession with returning Dream Girl to life.
The story deepens on several fronts, from the mysterious artifact and "xenodust" and the Imskian's harnessing a memory-negation power for Brainiac to Chameleon's impersonating a member of the Science Police for reasons unknown and Projectra's grief over the death of her parents.
We also get the very cool Infinite Crisis tie-in page, which would warrant this issue a rating of 4 all on its own.
Good stuff all around.
Art - 3: I didn't care for the art in this issue as much as past issues, but Barry Kitson wasn't doing the pencils so that's certainly got something to do with it. It wasn't bad, although some of the faces looked like the proportions were a little off and when compared to the excellent art from the past two issues, the art in this book just felt like it was lacking.
Cover Art - 4: I don't care for the words on the cover (although they do balance out the book title) or the placement of a character who doesn't make a single appearance in the book (Shadow Lass), all of the other characters feature relatively prominently and the focus is on Supergirl's Legion flight ring, which is a central element of the story. Not really much to complain about and it's visually interesting, although not exactly poster-worthy.
Check out the Comic Index Lists for the complete list of Superman-related comics published in 2006.