At first, as this Cyborg-centric story started to unfold, I began to worry that things for our heroes were about to make an abrupt about-face, with them suddenly having the upper hand against these villains that have been made to be unbeatable. Seeing Cyborg, who has been sidelined and mutilated this entire story, get his due, was satsifying, but the rest seemed off. Then, as if expected, it was revealed to be a ploy. A trick to allow the Justice League to spread the darkness of Barbatos across the galaxy, and the status quo still remained, with our heroes unaware of just how badly beaten they’ve truly been.
Admittedly, I thought that the Mangog’s ridiculous appearance was too much for me to get past as a believable threat in this world. A vicious creature sent to brutally murder Gods wouldn’t look like that, would it? Well, my concerns were quickly brushed aside as one of the most brutal beat downs I’ve seen in comics in years went down and the War Thor was murdered handily. That was intense, and suddenly it’s starting to feel like Thor is headed for a soft reboot of sorts.
I still find it wonderful that Superman is the one who ends up in the most trouble in this situation, and his less-experienced, and non-super-powered family members all come out taking control of their situations. Lois being a fury is still a great bit of story-telling, and Jon being the leader of the Hunger Dogs is hilarious. But, the fires of Apokolips being snuffed out is sure to have some serious ramifications not only for the planet, but for the universe, as well. Darkseid is regaining his power, and soon he’ll return to the world he called home.
It’s always been an unspoken fact that The Batman Who Laughs is the most intimidating and dangerous of the Dark Knights. He’s an amalgamation of Batman and his greatest foe. All the skill of a fully-fledged Batman, without the moral compass. No emotional baggage to weigh him down, or horrifying war that pushed him to where he is, today. He simply is. That makes him, by far, the most dangerous of them all, and an obvious choice by Barbatos to lead the Dark Knights into battle against the Multiverse.
Charming moments like Talia telling Batman that she likes his “betrothed” after she stabbed her in the back and bested her in combat will never not be funny to me, in any context. I’m glad DC is taking their time with the story of Bruce and Selina. Their marriage is one of the few big things left in comics that have never happened that we’ve been waiting for years to see, and it deserves to be built up to, and brought to a head, much in the way a normal marriage would. If there’s anything Batman deserves at this point, it’s a sense of normalcy, in anything that he does.