Having turned Superman in the last issue, He Who Laughs continues his plan to turn 3 more people close to Batman and Superman in the latest installment.
As He Who Laughs is broken out of prison by Superman, the two wreak havoc around town, only to find that it’s all an elaborate hologram.
In this latest issue by author Joshua Williamson, we see the heroes get closer to the truth as He Who Laughs reveals the next person he turned, someone close to Bruce. This results in a race to stop Commissioner Gordon in a well designed panel by David Marquez. In the following scene, we watch as Batman stops Gordon’s car and gets met with a Batman Robot, only to be saved by a Superman still detoxing from the Joker toxin in his veins.
As the two then proceed to Superman’s fortress as a safe haven, they are met with the next of the victim’s of the joker toxin, Blue Beetle. The panels at this point in time only get better as Marquez gives us a two page spread with Beetle in the center as we get smaller panels of Batman and Superman fighting off Beetle to no avail. Then we get a full page spread of the two heroes in despair as Beetle gets the upper hand. These sequences drawn by Marquez were the strongest in this issue and made the scenes and storytelling more enjoyable.
Another great aspect of Marquez’s panels was the coloring by Alejandro Sanchez. In each scene, we got to see a duality between Batman and Superman with the colors chosen. When Superman is controlled by the toxin or Batman takes down Gordon, we see lots of blacks and red showcasing rage and despair. Whereas, when we get to the fortress of solitude, we see blues to showcase hope and calm. And Sanchez knew what to do as we got to the 2 page spread of the fight with Beetle as we see the heroes panels turn to shades of reds and blacks again for the anger and despair the heroes feel as the place they thought safe is safe no more.
As the series winded down to the end of the chapter, we saw the tie in to Snyder’s JLA run as each current DC series escalates in combining the universes more than Lex Luthor meeting with some of the villains across various runs.
If you’re looking for a fun and entertaining read, This series was comparable to Snyder’s JLA run and Tynion’s JLD runs respectively. I hold this series in high regard as it’s becoming one of my top favorite ongoing series at DC right now.