By Greg Pak, Brett Booth & Andrew Dalhouse
Mongul has revealed himself to be the true mastermind of the dire game that Batman and Superman are caught in. Batman was left down for the count last issue, so Superman battles the galactic conquerer. Meanwhile, Toy Master tries to make the other gamers realize that the events taking place are real. Once they finally understand, Bruce is brought back and things start to escalate…
Issue #5 seemed to be a rocky start in this new story arc, but after reading this issue elements seem to come into focus more. Mongul is without a doubt a worthy foe against the mighty duo. He is not only a physical equivalent for Superman, but a tactical match for Batman; a great choice to be the main antagonist. Having Toy Master be a red herring was well done by Greg Pak. Also, Pak is able to use this story as a way for Bruce and Clark to physically manifest their frustrations/issues with each other. Their conflict is one of the cornerstones of this series; the reader learns the clear distinctions between the icons and ultimately how they overcome them, which is what makes them heroic. Seeing these two titans clash always makes for awesome imagery and writing!
There are some major action sequences in this book and Brett Booth delivers! I was a bit nervous when he came on board as the artist, but those concerns have dissipated. His depiction of Superman and Batman fighting in a double-page spread is just…awesome! The book still has the pages done horizontally, which can be a bit annoying, but doesn’t detract from the storytelling. Also, colorist Andrew Dalhouse deserves some recognition. His work on the destruction of the city and the fires make the fight sequences pop with intensity and beauty.
The new creative team is finally showing the fruits of its labor in this issue. I can’t wait to see where the story and images take us next!