Review: Batman/Superman, Vol. 3: Second Chance by Greg Pak, Jae Lee (Illustrations)

Batman/Superman, Vol. 3: Second ChanceBatman/Superman, Vol. 3: Second Chance by Greg Pak

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

 

3.5 stars

I don’t know if it was because I expected to not like this or what, but this volume didn’t disappoint me as much as the other two. The stories weren’t connected at all, or if they were, only loosely. And instead of growling at each other, they were back to being friends. So…a bit more fun.

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That’s not to say this was perfect.
The first issue was some weird story about a spaceship full of microscopic aliens that Batman accidentally sucked up his nose. Ray Palmer (The Atom), who is a scientist working for S.H.A.D.E (Frankenstein’s old organization), shrinks himself and Superman down, and they take a trip inside Batman to save the day.
I shit you not!

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Doomed crossover event.
Already read it, so nothing new there.
Batman, Wonder Woman, Steel, & even Krypto search through the Phantom Zone for a cure for Superman. It’s good stuff, but it won’t make much sense unless you’ve already read Superman: Doomed.

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Second Chance is the next up, and it takes place on Earth 2. That wacky little chaos demon from before is back, and it gives them a chance to change the lives of their counterparts on the alternate Earth.

{Spoilery things happen}

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Then the demon makes a deal with some giant devil-thing, who lives in a devil-dimension. They erase both of their memories, and shoot them back on to Earth…naked.
*cough*
Things get a bit mixed up, and the boys sort of end up with the wrong women.
So to speak…

Clark falls into Selina’s lap, and (of course) she can’t resist playing a few tricks on the Man of Steel.

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Meanwhile, Lois partners up with Bruce, and brings out his flirty side.

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Eventually, the boys shape up, fight back, remember who they are, and (naturally) save the day.
The End.

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Review: Fantastic Four: 1234 (Marvel Knights 4 #1234) by Grant Morrison, Jae Lee (Illustrator)

Fantastic Four: 1234

Fantastic Four: 1234 by Grant Morrison

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

2.5 stars

Beware: LOADS OF SPOILERS IN THIS ONE!
In fact, I’m probably going to end up spoiling the entire story. So.

Our FOURTH week of Shallow Buddy reads is a nod to Marvel’s oldest family, The Fantastic Four!

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OH! So close!
This one almost made me get excited for this team. Almost.
At first it seemed like this was a grand What If story, told in Morrison’s schizophrenic style and brought to life by Jae Lee’s art.
Very cool, no?

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No.
Midway through, I was convinced that this was going to be THE ULTIMATE Fantastic Four story for me.
Ben goes to see Doom, because he promised to tell him The Truth about something. Whatever he says rocks Grimm’s world, and in exchange for listening…Victor cures Ben.
Meanwhile, Reed has hooked himself up to some machine, and become totally unresponsive to the outside world.

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Sue goes to Alicia’s house to escape her brother’s childish behavior, and get some advice on what do do about Reed.
He ignores her for his work, she cna’t take it anymore, blah, blah, blah.

Ding Dong!

Guess who shows up at the door?

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Also, it looks like Doom is actually Reed!
OMG! Mr. Fantastic, what have you done?!

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I’m literally bouncing around by the time I read that part!
*insert squealing*
Shit is getting REAL!

Oh. Wait. No, it isn’t.

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I was drooling all over the place, thinking YES! I’ve found MY Fantastic Four Book!, and that’s when the cop-out happens.
Wah, wah, wah…
Nothing is really real. Reed is still a good guy. Sue still loves him, Ben was tricked (but it can be fixed!), and Johnny…well,the rain shorts out his power, but it’s cool.
Turns out Doom has a giant reality bending Game of Life machine.
Not kidding. I wish I was, but I’m not…

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So. Reed somehow figured out that Victor was going to use his Game machine on them, went onto his lab, built a replica of the machine, hooked himself up to it, grew more brains, and outplayed Dr. Doom.
But somehow…there was no time to explain to the rest of the team.

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I loved the idea of mixing it all up, going crazy with the personalities, and turning these guys loose. It could have been interesting, but it ended up turning into a boring scoop of vanilla. And since it was Morrison, I not only felt unsatisfied by the conclusion…I was also slightly disoriented and confused.
Thanks, Grant.

First part of the story is great, so I’m grudgingly giving it 2.5 stars.

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Review: Batman/Superman, Vol. 2: Game Over by Greg Pak, Brett Booth (Illustrator), Jae Lee (Illustrator)

Batman/Superman, Vol. 2: Game OverBatman/Superman, Vol. 2: Game Over by Greg Pak

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was weird.
The first two (or three?) issues are sideways.

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I found it sort of off-putting because it’s an awkward way to hold a hardcover comic book. I mean, it’s not like it’s all that difficult to turn something to the side, but it got on my nerves after a few issues.
Or maybe I’m just a big whiner-baby?
Anyway, the gist is that Toymaker accidentally invents the World’s Deadliest Virtual Reality game.
I enjoyed the banter between the boys, but the story itself was just ok.

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In a (sorta) continuation of the gamer story, Batgirl, Supergirl, Red Hood, Krypto, and John Steel show up and help our guys kick some alien butt.
Again, it was an ok story. There were a few memorable moments between Barbara and Steel that made me laugh, and I enjoyed seeing Jason Todd show up and kick a little ass.

Next up was a crossover with the World’s Finest aka Power Girl and Huntress. In the last volume I’d read, PG was having some problems controlling her powers, and this seems to be a continuation of that storyline.
They also throw in a character from Earth 2, Vol. 4: The Dark Age. You don’t strictly need to read those to understand what’s going on…but it wouldn’t hurt.

The art is distracting, because Jae Lee isn’t the artist for the whole volume. His art sort of pops up in the middle and slaps you around a bit, disappears, comes back for one more kick in the junk, and then leaves.
If you’ve seen Lee’s stuff, you know it doesn’t play well with others.
He should have either drawn the whole thing..or nothing. I know that sounds awful, but it gave the book a really odd feel. One minute you’re looking at normal characters, and the next you’re eyeballing stuff from fairyland.
And, again, I have mixed feeling on how well like his stuff for a superhero comic.

There are stunning moments like this one:
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And then stuff like this:
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The fuck is that?!
Is he smiling?
Is the yellow alien planning to hug them to death?
I mean, it looks like he’s found his Happy Place to me!
And then there’s that oddly placed plane, that makes it look like he just farted out a jet.
Nothing about that panel looks like it belongs in a comic book. Nothing.

I like the Batman/Superman stuff, so I hope they don’t give up on this title. I’d just like to see something more cohesive and maybe more…fun?

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