Mild Mannered Reviews - DC Universe
DC Universe Online Legends #21Scheduled to arrive in stores: January 11, 2012
Cover date: Early March 2012
Writer: Marv Wolfman
Penciller: Bruno Redondo
Inker: Bruno Redondo
Reviewed by: Jeffrey Taylor
Having defeated the other heroes, Batman defies over 70 years of continuity-based logic and releases the poison gas to commit multiple genocide on the aliens from Brainiac's bottle cities because that somehow makes more sense than asking them to help fight their previous captor and consequently save Earth.
The Green Lantern Corps, led by Hal Jordan, show up to stop him, but fail in the face of Batman's lack of superpowers. They do however poke holes in the synthetic bubble that currently imprisons all the aliens and construct fans that blow the gas back outside.
The Batman from the future shows up and the present version immediately understands that he's made a huge mistake. He touches the version of himself from the future which, thanks to physics from the celluloid masterpiece "Time Cop" causes the future version of Batman to implode on himself, which to the surprise of Lex Luthor, doesn't implode the present Batman.
Still for no reason, the barrier collapses allowing the various alien races to, for no reason, attack the Green Lantern Corps and the remaining heroes until Batman finally does what he wasted two issues avoiding and ... talk ... to ... them.
It turns out that they were always against Brainiac, which makes sense. They want to help fight against Brainiac, which makes sense. So Batman wasted several issues fighting other heroes to go against everything that ever made him a hero, also for absolutely no reason. So we've had 2-3 issues that have ruined the pre-climax of what was only a middle of the road story to begin with.
To be continued...
Story - 2: I don't want to keep harping on it, but a flawed premise really hurts my enjoyment of a story. I want to overlook it, but it's pretty difficult when it takes up the entire plot. We sort of get an explanation that Brainiac is controlling these aliens, but I have more faith in Batman that he would try to break the control instead of committing what is essentially several levels of mass genocide by killing all the aliens in the sphere that are, in every case, the last of their respective races.
Before that, we have to assume that Batman has a way to insert these poison gas canisters in the sphere which is magically sealed with necromantic energy.
One of the upsides is that Hal Jordan acknowledges that he once committed murder as Parallax back in the GL books from the end of 1993 and start of 1994 after Coast City was destroyed in the "Reign of the Supermen."
The upside is the moment when Batman sees his future self and there's no need for a fight. He simply understands that what he was trying to do would ruin everything that he ever was. We're going to have to preclude the flawed logic that Batman would commit this atrocity, but seeing the future Batman immediately brings him to the appropriate conclusion that his logic was incorrect. ...Then again, he doesn't question the future Batman's authenticity for even a moment, which would be entirely valid and in-character in spite of everything.
The Roche Limit is something I'm slightly familiar with since it was in that horrible film "Time Cop," but it's something that would have been better served if set up ahead of this seminal moment in the climax of the near-end of the story. Still, it had a different effect by, as Luthor explains, sending Future Batman back to his own time instead of destroying them both.
Then, at the worst possible moment, Batman overlooks Hal Jordan's past mistakes as the most inappropriate time and justifies how he let his guard down and committed genocide because it fits Batman's out-of-character actions, but that's when he sees the light and lets go of whatever Batman's psychological Parallax could have been. And he helps save the people he never should have been trying to genocidally murder in the first place by potentially sacrificing himself to make peace.
Before the aliens, who had apparently been under Brainiac's control, decide to help fight against him as they should have to begin with, and show no signs of their control being broken, one of them signals a very telling quote: "It is an endless cycle." I can only hope that this cycle is now broken and the story can return to making sense. Taken out of context, I'm going to have to use that to say that this flawed premise led to flawed logic, which led to flawed actions, which led to flawed reasons for fighting, which led to a flawed outcome.
My hope is that this bastardized part of the story that we've been subjected to will not be recapped in the remaining five issues so that we can move on and have the story we should have started several issues ago where the aliens from Brainiac's bottled cities join forces with Earth's heroes, new and old, to take down Brainiac. On top of that we know that their efforts are doomed to eventually fail, but here's hoping they succeed in the short term and have good finale to lead into the DC Universe Online game.
So why is it a "2" instead of a "1?" Because this horrible excuse for a subplot is over and I'm awarding an extra point for letting us move on to what I can only hope will be a much better climactic ending to the whole story.
Art - 3: I feel like I complain too much about the art team featured in the previous issue, but we've got an artist on this issue that is much better-suited for this kind of a story. Both of the Batmen look great. The Green Lanterns look awesome. Actually, even the various alien races both from the Green Lantern Corps and from Brainiac's bottle cities appear to be spot-on.
But once again, there are virtually no backgrounds. We're in the heart of a city and there's certainly smoke and debris from various battles, but both the sky and the horizon look foggy or at least completely overcast. This can be a style to show the damage, but even fallen or broken pieces of buildings are completely absent.
However, to be completely fair, if I weren't looking at the art for something to talk about for a review, I probably wouldn't have noticed. So 1) That says a lot about the character art and 2) it's not something I can entirely fault on my numerical rating.
Cover Art - 4: The first thing I look at when I review a comic book cover is if the image by itself would entice me to pick up the book, even if I didn't have a subscription to it. This is one of those covers. First off, I love the Green Lantern Corps and I love Batman. The mere thought of those two factions facing off against each other grabs my attention. Out of context, everything looks great, especially Batman at the center of it all with his cape in full "Batman Returns - Paragliding" appearance. Above all that, the members of the Corps that we can see seem to be taken aback and blinding their eyes against the light behind Batman.
Sadly the plot doesn't back up the sentiment, but I wouldn't know that until I bought the issue off the stands for having a good cover.
Mild Mannered Reviews
2012Note: Month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.
- Action Comics #3
- Superman #3
- Superboy #3
- Supergirl #3
- Justice League #3
- Teen Titans #3
- Young Justice #10
- DC Universe Online Legends #17
- DC Universe Online Legends #18
- Action Comics #4
- Superman #4
- Superboy #4
- Supergirl #4
- Justice League #4
- Teen Titans #4
- Young Justice #11
- DC Universe Online Legends #19
- DC Universe Online Legends #20
- Action Comics #5
- Superman #5
- Superboy #5
- Supergirl #5
- Justice League #5
- Teen Titans #5
- Young Justice #12
- DC Universe Online Legends #21
- DC Universe Online Legends #22
- Action Comics #6
- Superman #6
- Superboy #6
- Supergirl #6
- Justice League #6
- Teen Titans #6
- Young Justice #13
- DC Universe Online Legends #23
- DC Universe Online Legends #24
- Action Comics #7
- Superman #7
- Superboy #7
- Supergirl #7
- Justice League #7
- Teen Titans #7
- Young Justice #14
- DC Universe Online Legends #25
- DC Universe Online Legends #26
- Action Comics #8
- Superman #8
- Superboy #8
- Supergirl #8
- Justice League #8
- Teen Titans #8
- Superman Beyond #1 (Digital Comic Book)
- Superman Beyond #2 (Digital Comic Book)
- Smallville: Season 11 - Chapter #1 (Digital Comic Book)
- Smallville: Season 11 - Chapter #2 (Digital Comic Book)
- Smallville: Season 11 - Chapter #3 (Digital Comic Book)
- Young Justice #15
- Action Comics #9
- Superman #9
- Superboy #9
- Supergirl #9
- Justice League #9
- Teen Titans Annual #1
- Teen Titans #9
- Earth Two #1
- Superman Beyond #3 (Digital Comic Book)
- Smallville: Season 11 - Chapter #4 (Digital Comic Book)
- Smallville: Season 11 - Chapter #5 (Digital Comic Book)
- Smallville: Season 11 - Chapter #6 (Digital Comic Book)
- Young Justice #16
- Superman Family Adventures #1
- Action Comics #10
- Superman #10
- Superboy #10
- Supergirl #10
- Justice League #10
- Teen Titans #10
- Superman Beyond #4 (Digital Comic Book)
- Smallville: Season 11 - Chapter #7 (Digital Comic Book)
- Smallville: Season 11 - Chapter #8 (Digital Comic Book)
- Smallville: Season 11 - Chapter #9 (Digital Comic Book)
- Young Justice #17
- Superman Family Adventures #2
- Action Comics #11
- Superman #11
- Superboy #11
- Supergirl #11
- Justice League #11
- Teen Titans #11
- Superman Beyond #5 (Digital Comic Book)
- Superman Beyond #6 (Digital Comic Book)
- Smallville: Season 11 - Chapter #10 (Digital Comic Book)
- Smallville: Season 11 - Chapter #11 (Digital Comic Book)
- Smallville: Season 11 - Chapter #12 (Digital Comic Book)
- Young Justice #18
- Superman Family Adventures #3
- Action Comics #12
- Superman #12
- Superman Annual #1
- Superboy #12
- Supergirl #12
- Justice League #12
- Teen Titans #12
- Superman Beyond #7 (Digital Comic Book)
- Smallville: Season 11 - Chapter #13 (Digital Comic Book)
- Smallville: Season 11 - Chapter #14 (Digital Comic Book)
- Smallville: Season 11 - Chapter #15 (Digital Comic Book)
- Young Justice #19
- Superman Family Adventures #4
- Action Comics #0
- Superman #0
- Superboy #0
- Supergirl #0
- Justice League #0
- Teen Titans #0
- Superman Beyond #8 (Digital Comic Book)
- Smallville: Season 11 - Chapter #16 (Digital Comic Book)
- Smallville: Season 11 - Chapter #17 (Digital Comic Book)
- Smallville: Season 11 - Chapter #18 (Digital Comic Book)
- Young Justice #20
- Superman Family Adventures #5
- Action Comics #13
- Action Comics Annual #1
- Superman #13
- Superboy #13
- Supergirl #13
- Justice League #13
- Teen Titans #13
- Superman Beyond #9 (Digital Comic Book)
- Superman Beyond #10 (Digital Comic Book)
- Smallville: Season 11 - Chapter #19 (Digital Comic Book)
- Smallville: Season 11 - Chapter #20 (Digital Comic Book)
- Smallville: Season 11 - Chapter #21 (Digital Comic Book)
- Young Justice #21
- Superman Family Adventures #6
- Superman: Earth One - Volume 2
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Check out the Comic Index Lists for the complete list of Superman-related comics published in 2012.