Apparently, if you do not have a character who fits the plot of your comic, you can just retrofit a brand new personality for an existing character to get your point across.
That’s what Michael Green did in the disappointing second issue of his Superman/Batman run.
His story of Superman and Batman clearing the world of kryptonite continues in this issue, and for the most part, Green does a very nice job with it, with lots of little neat cameos, like the Joker, Firestorm, Booster Gold (Booster’s appearance is interesting, in the fact that it is a mystery if it a case of Green not being up on Booster’s current series, or if he IS up on his current series, and Booster just intentionally acts like a screwball to cover up his current secret mission) and Starfire.
Superman/Batman creation, the Toyman, shows up – and he gets some good scenes (including a rather silly bit where Superman and Batman turn down his totally helpful offer to collect microscopic particles of kryptonite – that was odd).
Shane Davis and Matt Banning continue to do a solid job on the art, while occasionally having some very nice flourishes, like when we meet a fish that has been mutated by an underwater kryptonite deposit – they did a very nice job on the fish.
Since they’re underwater, they run into Aquaman, and here is where Green just loses it, and since this is the main conflict of the comic book, the fact that these scenes are so bad really hurt the overall issue.
First off, I am not going to give Green too much guff for his Aquaman not really being anything like Kurt Busiek or Tad Williams – yeah, he probably should have done a little more research, but the new Aquaman IS a bit on the new side, so it’s forgivable.
So anyways, he takes issue with Superman and Batman taking away a huge deposit of kryptonite from an underwater city, and basically just acts like a dick to Superman and Batman, leading to perhaps the worst scene of the book.
Do note that his initial, “Hey, guys, that’s part of our city” point is fair enough, and that Batman has a really bad line early on when he says something like (when Superman says, “Maybe we should be more careful”), “Eh, who cares? We’re underwater – who’s going to notice?,” but once Aquaman shows up, he doesn’t come up with any alternate solutions, he just attacks them and yells at them, and finally leads to the aforementioned horrible scene.
After Superman explains the mission, and Aquaman finally grasps the concept, “You’re trying to clean…the whole planet.”
Superman says,” I’m only trying to make the world safer for me to do my job.”
Aquaman shoots back, “What made you think anyone would want that?”
Superman is stunned silent.
Aquaman follows up, “Except you. Didn’t think of that, did you?”
And both Batman and Superman are stunned, and both think to themselves, “No, I didn’t.”
Aquaman wraps up his diatribe – “You do as you will and expect people to thank you for it. I will never understand this about you, Superman. It never once occurred to you…that the world wouldn’t be grateful for a savior. Maybe you have to be at least part human to understand humans” (then, pointing to Batman) “You should know better.”
Yes, Aquaman, it never occurred to them, because it’s an idiotic point!
Sure, bad guys would be unhappy about their mission, and maybe you can make the argument that Batman should probably keep a little piece, just in case (I think Superman would even agree with that), but otherwise, who the heck would have a problem with Superman getting rid of something that could kill him?
I really don’t know what I think is worse – Aquaman being mischaracterized to make such a silly point or the fact that Green has Superman and Batman react like his silly point was a good one. This practically makes the Sally Floyd/Captain America conversation from Civil War: Frontline #11 look good.
Okay, just practically.
Let’s not get crazy now.
Anyhow, the scene was bad enough (especially as, like I mentioned, it was a central scene in the issue) that I would say Not Recommended.
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