Sixty issues ago when this title first started, I was excited about it. It was bold, brave, and bombastic. It was the “World’s Finest” given a new set of sensibilities, except it wasn’t. Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuiness quickly made this book a completely different experience and also made it one of the most erratically shipped titles in the DC stable. I was done with it by the fourth issue, deciding to trade-wait it and forego the floppies. Sure, I’d peek in every so often to see what happened, but haven’t read this title on a monthly basis since it started.
This issue, however, triggered my attention. As a jaded comic book reader, I enjoy new concepts every so often and if those new concepts have some familiarity, more’s the better. While it could be argued that this is not a new concept, I offer up Terranado as evidence that it is a new concept. A cross between Red Tornado and Terra, this android causes Batman to bristle with paranoia, just as the Justice Titans are beginning to accept the story being told to them by Batman and Superman.
Manapul’s art here is rendered from pencils, and it looks instantaneously elegant and hurried. Manapul has a nice gift and he gets to truly test it out on this amalgamation. His cover is iconic and contemporary and the insides of the book coincide. Manapul’s page layout is straightforward, as is his choice of camera angle and his knack for storytelling. These choices suit this familiarly unfamiliar setting marvelously. The book reads like a straight-forward superhero tale, and although the story is briskly paced and accented with sparse detail, the issue is a solid read. For the first time in fifty-some issues, I’m actually looking forward to what happens next month in this book.
As an added bonus, this issue includes a peek into Rucka and Williams’ “Detective Comics” #854. Sure, we’ve seen most of this stuff before, but it looks a lot better as a printed piece and offers some closure to months of anticipation.