Compared to Williamson’s previous issues of the series, Batman Superman was absolutely gorgeous with the colors, shading and emotion in a number of the panels in the latest issue.
Unlike to the last few issues, with the fights against The Infected, this series has now reached a high point with the fallout from the fight and the beautiful moments by colorist, Sanchez and artist, Marquez. In this issue, we get a large focus on Batman and Superman handling the corruption of those close to different Leaguers, without informing people about the outcome. This lack of transparency results in fallout across all the heroes, as they feel betrayed, especially Diana who lost Donna to the infection. This results in her taking it out on manticore looking monsters.
As Batman and Superman come to terms with what they’ve done to Diana, Marquez delivers some goofy reactions from both heroes, as they realize that Diana knows what happened and is using her anger to destroy the manticores. During this sequence, we also are given multiple panels, showcasing groups of heroes meeting up to discuss different members who were turned, ie. Beetle, Shazam, Hawkman and more. I’m uncertain if this narrative will be seen going forward after Snyder’s Justice League run, or if it ends with TynionIV’s Hell Arisen run, but we can see an impact to the conclusion of the whole series. We now know that Batman and Superman failed both themselves, their allies and their friends. Seeing how this affects the heroes, along with a brief allusion to the next arc, gives a good perspective at the shortcomings these two powerhouses can have.
Batman Superman also delivered some of the best colors and shades I’ve seen in this series. Sanchez gives good lighting and shades that make the faces from Marquez stand out. Whereas previous issues felt more like a comic book, some of the panels in this issue felt more like a cartoon, thanks to the color choices. All of these elements brought forth, results in an overall appealing issue.
What the issue brought forth in story elements, colors and art, it lacked in important plot elements and diversity of panels. A majority of this issues plot followed the heroes shortcomings, and who was affected, but past that surface level conflict, we only got 20+ pages dealing with it. Instead of delivering more insight into how certain characters are, we’re told to read Supergirl and Hell Arisen for the last information we need to bring this arc full circle. As the series that started the Infected storyline, I was hoping for a little more substance than focusing heavier on Diana taking out her frustrations. This made for a weak point in the issue. On that note, the art also suffered because, while it had a number of amazing pages, we also got fight sequences that felt uninspired, with a large focus on Diana hitting things or Gordon in his cell. This wasn’t as exciting as some of the fight pages we got in previous issues. Seeing Superman drag Supergirl through the sky, that was exciting. This issue though, everything with Diana felt more average. I’d hope for more active panels or diversifying some of the fight sequences they did include, but instead we got minimal impact.
Overall, there was a lot of strong colors at times, and we did get to see the fallout and shortcomings of the heroes, but the lack of plot elements that could’ve been explored more or diversified fight sequences, made for a mostly average issue.