Batman/Superman #4 – Joshua Williamson, Writer; David Marquez, Artist; Alejandro Sanchez, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: As the dark mirror to the current storyline in Justice League, Batman/Superman seems to get better every issue. While Lex Luthor’s plan is epic in scope, the Batman who Laughs is taking out heroes one by one. While Justice League spans dimensions, Joshua Williamson manages to tell an epic superhero story confined entirely in one building.
Of course, that building happens to be the Fortress of Solitude, so there’s going to be a lot of surprises here in Batman/Superman #4. When we last left off, Batman and Superman were ambushed by Scarab, the third infected hero to attack them. But he’s not alone – Hawkman and Donna Troy quickly join them, along with Commissioner Gordon. Most of these are very effective, but Donna hasn’t appeared in any comic in a while and as such her turn to villainy is a blank slate – she’s angry at the loss of Wally, Dick, and Roy in different ways, but that’s all we get. Even if her character is always an enigma, she makes an effective muscle here.
Once the Batman who Laughs’ plan is revealed – he intends to bring the infected Justice League satellite from his dimension here to infect it en masse – the intensity rockets up, especially once it’s revealed his sixth infected has to be a Kryptonian to complete the process. Superman goes from being the heroes’ best weapon to being target #1, and Williamson does some great stuff with the various twists and turns inside the Fortress – including a surprising fail-safe that requires the heroes to sacrifice themselves to use.
The identity of the Kryptonian who falls has been revealed for months, but Kara’s few scenes in Batman/Superman #4 are extremely strong and I like the way Williamson continues to make clear that the infected are victims, not “Traitors”. Williamson is a horror writer at his core, and it shows in how effectively he writes his villains, especially the Batman who Laughs. This comic manages to be both terrifying and epic in one issue – another great build-up to the next DC event.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.