Our “Elseworlds” like adventure continues in Cullen Bunn’s magical mystery tour of the future where Superman’s powers have changed as he operates under the influence of an enchanted sun. As for Batman, eh, he’s the same no matter where he operates.
The story continues as Batman wants Superman to meet the Justice League of the future. Arthur Curry is there and he looks like the world’s oldest hippie and is none too happy about it.
The thing about these Superman/Batman story arcs is finding a way to keep things fresh and new, to put our heroes in unusual situations that we’ve never seen before. Except we’ve just about everything. Bunn’s effort is to put Supes and Bats with an odd mixture of characters, create two timelines, including one in a magically infused future, tell it all in a shifting narrative and create an apocalyptic no win scenario.
But doesn’t that sound a bit formulaic also? Not to dismiss Bunn’s effort, but on page eight of the book we get a large panel complete with a magical orifice energized by the Coven to complete their evil plan. Wouldn’t it be great if that was just a grand diversion, a mystical light show with no meaning? The real plan would be the dirty deed revealed on pages eleven and twelve where Aquaman spills the beans on the death of Lois Lane. That’s how you beat Superman, you chip away at him. Take away the foundation of his very being. Make his life a lie and without meaning. Superman always defeats the grand design. And if he is at his wits end, Batman is always there to think a way out of it.
Come to think of it, we all know what a devious SOB Batman can be, make this all his idea. Bats didn’t like the way things were going and the look of the future so he used everyone as pawns and had the future shaped until he was satisfied with it. Now that would be fresh!
I’m willing to give Bunn a chance as the last installment of this four parter is next. (OK, you got me, it’s already out and many of you have read it. But don’t tell me what happens!) Let’s see if he can keep this story fresh. There may be a magic portal opening up with a big monster oozing out of it but in the final panel, Batman in his own inimitable way, pulls his mask over his face, gives Clark a wry look and says, “Do you want to remake the world?”
Yes please! And make sure it’s extra crazy, something we haven’t seen before!
Oh and one last thing. There is something I have to get off my chest. If you may recall (yes, it was a while ago) I claimed that recently added “Klarion the Witch Boy” looked a lot like the love child between Lady GaGa and Prince. Indulge me while I present the evidence.
See what I mean?
Reviewed by David Healey