Artists: Jae Lee & Ben Oliver
This has become one of my favourite series from the New 52, as although it hasn't always been phenomenal, it has always been very entertaining, having some very interesting and exciting moments, and Greg Pak continues to show in this series how good a writer he really is.
There is conflict between the two Supermen and Batmen, and how they must decide what to do with the mysterious crystal.
This was a fantastic issue, and an amazing conclusion to this opening story. Greg Pak did a wonderful job of tying the story off in this issue, as although there were minor problems I had, overall it was a very exciting and interesting issue. The pacing throughout the issue was also brilliant, as although there were some sequences that were a little too quickly paced, the overall issue flowed very smoothly. Pak also managed to add a lot of suspense and tension in this issue as well, with the entire atmosphere being amazing. I would however add that this is an issue that you need to pay attention to, as if you speed through it you may get slightly confused, and have to re-read certain parts, or even the entire issue again.
The artwork in this issue was also brilliant, as although I'm never going to become a huge fan of Jae Lee, his work on this series has been outstanding. Overall his artwork is simply beautiful, but the main problems I have is the lack of emotion throughout the characters, as well as the odd way he draws characters hair. I do however love his unique and dynamic layouts, and the amazing energy that he brings out of the story. Ben Oliver who did a few pages worth of art on the first issue would also help out once again drawing the latter pages of the issue. The detail and atmosphere was once again fantastic, with there being brilliant tone and emotion throughout, and I kind of wish he'd done the entire story.
This issue would see a difference of opinion between the Batman and Superman of the regular DC Universe, and the Batman and Superman of Earth-2 about what should happen with the crystal. I really enjoyed this, and although it would have been nice to see more action, given the fact the story has two of each character it needed something like this, adding a lot of drama and suspense. I also found the crystal itself to be a very interesting object, as although it seemed a rather simple concept, it had vast amount of development points, and Pak managed to show this brilliantly.
The Trickster would also have some involvement in this issue, as she would continue her fight with Wonder Woman, which Lois Lane and Catwoman watch, with Lois trying to help stop the Trickster. Now overall the Trickster has been a brilliant addition to this story, and I'm sure she'll have a even more interesting role somewhere down the line. I would of however have liked to have seen a bit more of her fight with Wonder Woman, as although I understand why Pak focused more on the Batmen/Supermen sequences, it would make this sequence feel too much like background noise. I did however enjoy the message that Trickster had for them near the end.
One of the things that the solicit for this issue promised was to reveal how Superman and Batman have no recollection of this adventure. Now I won't go into any details about this, but it was just as expected, and due to that rather disappointing. It did however add a lot of tone and atmosphere to the end of the story, and I liked that due to this Pak has managed to keep the story in continuity. I also loved how Pak would follow-up on the opening sequence of this story, developing on Bruce and Clark's encounter involving a bullied boy, making the story come full circle.
This was a brilliant conclusion to the series opening story, and although it wasn't quite as impactful as I hoped it would be, it was still very exciting and entertaining, with some very interesting moments. The character interaction was also yet again wonderful, and I really hope that Pak gets round to building on this story later in the series. Due to all this I'd highly recommend this issue, and the entire first story, though if you're short on cash and haven't been getting the series so far I'd recommend leaving it till next issue.