Scheduled to arrive in stores: October 27, 2020
Cover date: December 2020
“Planet Brainiac” – Part Two
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Penciller: Max Raynor
Inker: Max Raynor
Cover: David Marquez
Variant Cover: Mark Brooks
Reviewed by: Keith Samra
Meanwhile Batman and Superman are pit against robotic versions of their rogues gallery, so that Brainiac can further understand the two heroes and what they do, and why the villains are the way they are.
Batman manages to outsmart Brainiac by getting him to create a Joker Mech, knowing that he will be pure chaos. Steel and Batwoman eventually get through to Superman and Batman, only for Brainiac to reveal his form, in the guise of a composite Superman/Batman robot, and he heads to Earth to become a villain, in order to gain a better understanding of what it is to be a villain.
To be continued…
Story – 5: Man Joshua Williamson can surely write a good tale. Having looked at this issue, and flipping through the pages, I really felt that this issue was going to be a bit of a let-down, until I actually read it all the way through, and boy was I wrong. You would think that I would stop doubting Williamson’s skill as a writer that can write an issue and keep you excited and looking forward to the next, I don’t know why I ever question whether I will like the issue or not.
Now I mentioned that I wasn’t a big fan of Batwoman as a character last month, and only really see her as a token character for the most of it, yet Williamson made me care about her, and has me excited to see what else he will utilise her in the upcoming issues. For a while there, I couldn’t even call Steel a token anything, seeing as how he pretty much has been absent from the pages of DC since the Superwoman title ended before it even got its footing, so I can only thank Williamson for bringing him back for this arc.
My only negative was the way Batman was ploughing through his opponents the way he was, in all his ultimate Bat-God glory, yet Williamson balanced that out with the way he paralleled Superman in the following pages, and causing an epiphany for Superman in the issue and with us as the reader, as to why superman doesn’t save Lex Luthor from himself. He views Lex as a creature of his nature, yet hasn’t tried to nurture him into wanting to be a hero. I really seriously hope that someone on the Super titles picks up this idea and runs with it. Fingers crossed that Williamson will be a writer on one of those books when Bendis leaves.
Art – 5: Max Raynor’s art felt a lot more polished in this issue, over the last, I really enjoyed his page layouts and his choice of panel work, and also the use of the negative space on some pages. Raynor’s design for the Mechs was really nicely done, and he managed to capture the bat-villains essence in their robotic projections rather nicely. I really dug the Joker Mechs face.
Along with the Mech, I liked the armoured/injured Batman look, with the chunkier boots and gauntlets. And I am a sucker for a cape-less Superman (he only loses it, when he’s really caught off guard), so I liked the way Raynor was able to render him, and still keep that majestic look about him.
The composite Superman/Batman robot form for Brainiac was a nice way to update a silver age trope, even though we had previously seen this in the original Superman/Batman title back in the early 2000’s. This one seemed a little more awesome, seeing as how it fits this story so much better.
Lastly Steel and Batwoman were rendered perfectly, and feel that Raynor would make an awesome on-going artist on a Superman or Batman book.
As always, the coloring was fantastic, and bought so much more depth to the line art, a great enhancement.
Cover Art – 5: A much better cover than last month by David Marquez, I love that our heroes are battling robot versions of their greatest villains, an awesome reflection of what’s in this issue.
Variant Cover Art – 4: A generic pose of the world’s finest, yet beautifully rendered by Mark Brooks, who has been a staple over at Marvel for quite some time. This image is poster worthy for sure.
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