Mild Mannered Reviews - Batman/Superman Comic Books

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Batman/Superman #8

Scheduled to arrive in stores: March 25, 2020

Cover date: May 2020

"The Kandor Compromise: Part Two"

Writer: Joshua Williamson
Penciller: Nick Derington
Inker: Nick Derington
Cover: Nick Derington
Variant Cover: Andy Kubert

Reviewed by: Keith Samra
Click to enlarge

We open with a flashback of a young General Zod on Krypton many years before its destruction. Zod is taught an important lesson by his own father, of the city of Kandor and what it means to his family.

We cut to the present, as a horde of resurrected Kandorians attack Zod, Superman, Ras Al Ghul and Batman. Superman and Zod take the brunt of it all, as the Kandorians try to escape the hidden temple, for open skies.

Ras in a desperate last attempt throws a Red Sun emitting flash grenade, causing the Kandorians to return to the bottled city. Superman questions Zod on the madness of his plan of resurrecting his people in such a way, only for Zod to pose a question back to him, that he and Batman have dead loved ones, if they had that chance to bring them back, wouldn't they take it? This is all cut short, as Ras swipes through the bottle city with his Kryptonite blade.

Zod attacks Ras in all his rage, flying him through the wall of the temple, and Superman tells Batman that he needs to get the bottle city remains to the Fortress in order to save the lives of those in the broken bottle.

Batman follows Zod and Ras, and discovers that Zod is about to kill Ras, only to be thwarted by his Kryptonite blade. Zod tosses Ras aside and flies off. Ras also makes an escape, before Batman manages to catch up with him.

Later we catch up with Batman in the Fortress of Solitude, he asks Superman what the status of the Kandorians is. Superman tells him that the city he brought back was some sort of replica, and that half the denizens of Kandor are missing. The ones he managed to save are in a form of stasis, not dead, but not alive either. We later see that Zod had a cunning plan, and that he saved the other half, as well as the real bottled city, as he flies home.

We end with Zod on his new home of Jekuul, where he teaches his own son about the city of Kandor, and what it means to the House of Zod.

The end.

5Story - 5: What a fantastic read, and what a great way to set this book apart from the rest, by not shying away from a two issue mini arc, separating it from the six issue trade paperback formula.

I have said before, Williamson is a fantastic writer, and is currently writing the best Superman comic on the stands right now. He has an uncanny knack to tie events from other books, into his stories, without disrespecting what came before and rewriting continuity to suit his narrative. The Zod story is a continuation of the "Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps" comic from a couple years ago by Robert Venditti, where Hal and the Corps come across the planet Jekuul that Zod and his family have taken over, making it a New Krypton of sorts. This is why I loved the story that came before with TBWLs. Williamson knows how to continue the story of characters from previous arcs and events.

I just loved that Zod is passing on the Kandorian legacy to his son, as did his father before him. I also love that he has a son around the same age as Jon (or rather, the same age Jon was before the current events in the Superman books), whom will most likely one day stand opposing him.

Batman played more of a supporting role in this issue, which I was ok with, as he didn't need to be saving the day, and taking everyone down. Again, this is the beauty of Williamson's writing, as he knows when and when not to use characters. Though the main focus really was on Zod and Ras, this was a great way to show rogues of Superman and Batman, which stand for the old guard, and want to preserve the history of their own worlds, even if it is for selfish reasons.This book is amazing, and should be on every Superman and Batman fans' list of comics to read, for those that do read current DC.

4Art - 4: This issue wasn't short on action by any stretch, action which mostly revolved around Ras and Zod. When I re-read the issue, I felt an animated feel to the story flow, as if this could have been an episode of the "Justice League" animated series or even more appropriate an episode of either Superman or Batman. The fight against the resurrected Kandorians and the battle between Zod and Ras was intense, fun and exciting all in one, perfectly captured for this media.

I'm obviously not a fan of Kryptionians getting Super Powers straight away, and automatically knowing how to use them, however I do realize that this was always meant to be a two issue arc, and time was of the essence.

I applaud Derrington's skill as a story teller, as every panel was perfectly framed for the story, there were no unnecessary glory shots or splash pages. Each page was framed as though it were a storyboard, making the action so easy to follow. This is a skill some comic artists do not possess, so I take my hat off to Mr Derrington for an easy to follow visual narrative. In fact, with the coloring and the panel layouts, I'm sure the Wachowski's would have a ball, filming this in live action. It's very Matrix like in some parts of the visuals.

I loved that the issue bookends with Zod and his son, as last issue opened with Zod and his father. Even though it's more in the storytelling, I loved the way it was conveyed through the art.

My only criticism about the art would have to be that I felt there was no wow factor, that the art at time lacked pizzazz. Also that the models for the four main characters seemed off at times, again that may not be a totally bad thing, as this is coming from the point of view that all comics should feature handsome heroes and villains. In the review for the last issue, I mentioned that there were traces of Frank Quitley influence to the art, sadly that wasn't the case for this issue, however it was enjoyable nonetheless.

I also wanted to mention the muted coloring. It really serviced the art well, keeping an indie vibe to it. All in all, not a bad visual issue to read.

4Cover Art - 4: The cover manages to capture the main plot thread of the story. I love that each hero is countered to his antagonist in a manner that portrays their emotional stance in the story.

Mild Mannered Reviews


Note: Except for digital first releases, the month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

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