Batman/Superman #7 – Joshua Williamson, Writer; Nick Derington, Artist; Dave McCaig, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: The first arc of Batman/Superman was a compelling, action-packed read that worked as a side-story to events, but the second looks like it’s going to come into its own as its own excellent story. Batman/Superman #7 pits Batman and Superman against two of their most complex foes, Ra’s Al Ghul and General Zod, it’s given a massive boost from the guest art of the brilliant Nick Derington – formerly of Batman: Universe.
When we last left of, Zod had approached Ra’s with a demand – to use the Lazarus Pit to resurrect the Bottled City of Kandor. Zod narrates the opening segment, giving a pained and bitter voice to the tragedy. But the two villains are definitely not working together, with Ra’s soon being found trying to claim the body of the Kryptonite Man. It’s rare to see Ra’s enter the fray himself instead of using minions – and especially rare to see him pick a fight with a superhero besides Batman. That sets up the stakes for this arc nicely right at the start.
What’s interesting is that neither of these characters are clear-cut villains. Zod has the nobler intentions – to undo a horrible wrong that amounted to genocide – but he’s blind to the flaws of his own plan. Ra’s is ruthless and pragmatic, but he makes a lot of sense about the madness of Zod’s plan. And they’re both essentially the relatives the heroes don’t want to deal with – with Ra’s being Damian’s grandfather, and Zod being one of the last few Kryptonians.
Superman and Batman feel almost like supporting characters here, the villains are such outsized characters. But that’s not a complaint. And the ending lays bare the flaws with Zod’s plan in a fantastic splash page that is alternately horrifying and the most Silver Age thing I’ve read in awhile. It seems like a perfect next step in the evolution of both villains, and a promising new arc for one of the best incarnation’s of this recurring team-up book.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.