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Mild Mannered Reviews - Superman/Batman

Superman/Batman #70

Superman/Batman #70

Scheduled to arrive in stores: March 24, 2010

Cover date: May 2010

"The Big Noise" - Part 3: "Righteous Destroyer"

Writer: Joe Casey
Penciller: Ardian Syaf and Jay Fabok
Inker: Vicente Cifuentes, Norm Rapmund and Marlo Alquiza

Michael Bailey Reviewed by: Michael Bailey

Click to enlarge

Batman muses on how he has had to multi-task as of late dealing with both an alien shape shifter disguised as S.T.A.R. Labs backer Anderson Gaines and, on a more local level, the Hooded Hangman, a masked wrestler with twelve kills under his belt. After a vicious fight Batman takes out the Hangman, which allows him to focus more on the bait he has set up for "Gaines".

Meanwhile S.T.A.R. techs discover an anomaly on the dark side of the moon. They put in a request for help from the Justice League but Gaines tells them to cancel the request, send all information on the anomaly to his personal computer and then to purge any mention of the anomaly from S.T.A.R.'s computer records. Gaines enters his personal office and contacts NRG-X. NRG-X is more than willing to finish the job he began and tells Gaines that all he needs is the when and the where. Gaines replies that the where is the Fortress of Solitude and the when is now.

At the same time Superman expresses doubt about the Batman's current plan to deal with Gaines, claiming that this isn't his war. After getting back into his space suit Batman tells the Man of Steel that this is the best way to deal with the problem as a direct conflict over a populated area is unacceptable. He follows by telling Superman that this is his war now.

In the Arctic NRG-X storms the Fortress. Kelex and a Superman robot stand in his way but NRG-X destroys both robots easily. Superman arrives quickly and the two exchange blows before NRG-X takes it to the next level.

In space Gaines pilots a shuttle and finds the space craft that was in orbit around the Moon. Batman is flying there too and Alfred informs the Dark Knight that there is activity within the hull. Batman isn't surprised that Gaines would attempt to commandeer the ship again and asks for an update on the planetary scanning systems. Alfred reports active radiation levels in the North Pole, which indicates to Batman that Gaines has dispatched his hired thug and now they are fighting a war on two fronts.

Meanwhile Gaines is on the Kryptonian ship and turns the ship back on. He muses about the fact that he was trained to command the "accursed Kryptonian death barge" and now he will use the weaponry to exterminate Krypton's last son. After rerouting piloting systems to the engine room a proximity alert is sounded letting Gaines know of Batman's presence.

3Story - 3: This issue felt like the filler chapter it was.

There really wasn't much to this issue at all. We got to see Batman fight a Bane wannabe and Superman fight NRG-X in the Fortress. That was pretty much it. Oh yeah, and Batman and Superman have some tense words in the Batcave as Batman suited up for his space flight. Outside of getting all of the main characters into play this chapter of The Big Noise really didn't serve much of a purpose at all.

I had two major problems with this issue or at least two problems that I thought stood out. The first is at the end of the last issue Superman seemed pretty gung-ho about taking this fight to the next level and yet in this issue he tells Batman this isn't his war. Which is it? That's a pretty big leap in characterization with little to support it.

The second problem is going to seem trivial and was something I brought up last issue, but once again this story bears an OUR WORLDS AT WAR: AFTERMATH trade dress and again it doesn't tie into that story at all. It has been stated that this story had nothing to do with OWAW and that the trade dress was tacked on later by editorial to which I say so what? If editorial is going to tack on the OWAW logo to tie this story into that event then something needs to be adjusted at story level to reflect that.

Is that so much to ask? I mean really is it too much for such things to make sense?

Oh well. There's always next issue.

4Art - 4: The art was very solid this time out. While I still believe that there was a lot of sizzle and little steak when it came to the actual story at least the art looked good. Both of the fights in the Fortress were fairly spectacular and the duel at the beginning was pretty cool as well. This issue had some good art. Too bad the story didn't live up to its end.

4Cover Art - 4: This was a good if basic cover. Superman and Batman both have an iconic look to them and I wouldn't be surprised if this ended up as a T-shirt or poster sometime soon.

Mild Mannered Reviews


Note: Month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

January 2010

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