Batman: The Brave and the Bold #2
Scheduled to arrive in stores: June 27, 2023
Cover date: August 2023
“Superman: Order of the Black Lamp” – Part 2
Writer: Christopher Cantwell
Artist: Javier Rodríguez
Reviewed by: JP Rocha
Superman searches for the origin of the “save me” message decoded by Clark Kent in part one of the story. The Order of the Black Lamp is a real life decoder ring, how is this childhood toy real? Clark is questioning this and his recollection of an ace war pilot. If Clark is the only one who remembers Hop Harrigan, is he and the ring just a work of fiction from his youth forgotten by everyone, as well as himself?
Superman follows the map to the Muchu Chhish, a remote mountain in the Karakoram Range in Pakistan. It is here he finds Eidos Citadel, a city within Muchu Chhish. Superman describes the city as vast and active, with scientific laboratories, heavy industry, and a military. Deep within the mountain Superman also finds a jail and very real Hop Harrigan who claims he has been trapped for 75 years, while somehow not aging a day.
Story – 3: First narrated by Clark Kent and second by Superman. The story is all narration, except for a final page with dialogue. The story itself is a fun throwback to the golden age. A homage to pulp detective, mystery, and action storytelling. The story revolves around the Order of the Black Lamp and Hop Harrigton, a DC golden age pulp character. If they were ever real Clark Kent can not remember.
Outside of a flashback to his youth we do not see Clark Kent. Instead, the story focuses on the action of Superman as he makes his way through the mountain city of Eidos Citadel. Kal-El narrates as we see Superman breakthrough the citadel’s defenses, get past soldiers and security robots. As the Man of Tomorrow finds his way through the labyrinth subarea, he finds what he is looking for, but also finds himself in a trap.
Art – 3: Overall, the art is very Superman fan fiction. While the Man of Steel is given superhero portions, he seems to be lacking something. With the exception of Hop Harrigan, all of the faces seem off; a young Clark, Superman, and soldiers of Eidos that are clearly shown. With the story largely being narrated, the art has to do a lot of the heavy lifting, and Javier Rodríguez again does a great job with storytelling. The security robot that Superman fights is the best part of the issue, taking up two of the twelve pages. The robot design and the fight are something right out of a Fleischer cartoon, only turned up to 11.
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