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Superman/Batman #66 [Review]

Night of the Cure

Story, Art & Cover: Scott Kolins
Letters: Sal Cipriano
Colors: Michael Atiyeh
Associate Editor: Adam Schlagman
Editor: Eddie Berganza
Publisher: DC Comics

There’s not really a whole lot to this issue, when you get right down to it. Black ring commands Solomon Grundy to Rise; Grundy goes off to kill. Meanwhile, Kirk Langstrom is yet again fighting the whole Manbat thing, and has a run in with Bizarro. And by issue’s end, they’re both facing Black Lantern Solomon Grundy.

Needless to say, I’m not too fond of this issue. Kolins’ art isn’t bad…it’s got a distinctive style that I like for the most part. Plus, I’ve gotten used to Bizarro’s appearance coming off differently with practically every artist who does the character lately. So no real complaint with the visuals.

The story itself, though just doesn’t do anything for me. I’m rather tired of the over-use of Bizarro the last few years; I’ve never been particularly fond of the character, and especially not when he/it shows up every other month or so. The Manbat bit is also rather tiresome and seems like any other Manbat story I can think of; there’s nothing new added to my understanding of the character, and nothing to show the character has moved forward at all; just the standard “every knows this basic original status quo” sort of take on the character, as I read this. Solomon Grundy being chosen by the Black Ring makes sense–he dies and comes back to ‘life’ all the time, so is one of the major offenders of Death.

As an issue of Superman/Batman, this issue is certainly mistitled: neither Superman nor Batman make any appearance here. The logo on the cover is more Manbat-ish and the S is backwards to represent Bizarro, so that part at least shows the difference…but this seems like it ought to have been its own special or mini-series.

As Blackest Night goes, this is one of the weaker tie-ins, and I’m confident the only reason for me to pick up the next issue is that I decided before Blackest Night began that I was going to follow the ENTIRE event/story. (Of course, I had no idea how huge it would become as it’s gone on!)

This is definitely one of those ancillary books that doesn’t seem to have any real bearing on the main story, and ties in due to the Black ring raising Grundy. If you’re interested in Grundy, Bizarro, or Manbat…you’ll probably enjoy this issue much more than I did. Otherwise, the only reason to get this is if you’re determined to follow Blackest Night into every last tie-in.

Story: 5/10
Art: 8/10
Whole: 6.5/10

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Faces of Evil: Solomon Grundy #1 [Review]

The Curse!

Writer: Geoff Johns & Scott Kolins
Artist: Scott Kolins
Colorist: Hi-FI
Letterer: John J. Hill
Editors: Adam Schlagman & Eddie Berganza
Cover: Shane Davis, Sandra Hope & Alex Sinclair
Publisher: DC Comics

This one shot focuses on the longtime DC character Solomon Grundy. After a bit of a flashback to the character’s in-continuity history, we come to the present where Grundy’s awoken once more after his latest death, but with a change. We follow him through a week of death and rebirth (and a fight with Killer Croc) until he’s confronted finally by a couple of faces familiar to him (and to us as readers) who propose fighting this curse he’s under while in a small window of opportunity to do so.

This is another well done one-shot worthy of the Faces of Evil “hype” and “event.” This is all about Grundy, offering us a look at the world from the character’s point of view while acknowledging the fact that he’s had a number of different incarnations in the last couple of decades at least, and building on that. As this is essentially set-up for a mini-series, one might be able to look at this as the tv-movie pilot for a special series coming soon.

The art fits the character and the story both quite well, and I enjoyed it. Kolins’ art seems to fit well with villain-centric stories, assuming I’m correct in recalling him as the artist on the Rogues’ Revenge mini from several months back.

This is a fairly decent one-shot; though as it is largely set-up for the upcoming mini-series, doesn’t feel complete: it feels more like a proglogue than a self-standing story.

If you’re interested in or curious about the character, it’s worthwhile–just be aware that it has a cliffhanger going toward the mini series.

Story: 8/10
Art: 9/10
Whole: 8.5/10

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