In the lead: A gradually expanding solar system appears in Metropolis, but Superman grabs the sun and flings it into outer space, dragging the planets with it. Gotham City is transformed into…something different, and Batman turns it back by refusing to believe it’s real. Wonder Woman gets attacked by three giant robots and beats them up. The Trinity decide to meet in the Batcave following their encounters, but they’re interrupted by a Justice League alert transmission from Green Lantern…
In the back-up: John Stewart’s ring picks up a spacecraft entering Earth’s atmosphere, and GL goes to investigate. He finds Konvikt and Graak, introduced in the flash-forward in last issue’s back-up, and Stewart gets his ass kicked, prompting the JLA distress call the Trinity picked up in the lead.
My take: I’ve got to say, the back-up in this issue was a lot better than the last one. The dialogue was still pretty bad (especially the annoying psychic sidekick that sits on Konvikt’s shoulder), but this story looked a hell of a lot better. That surprised me, because Tom Derenick did a remarkably terrible job on the last quarter of Countdown. His work here was completely unremarkable, but that’s a step up.
I liked how the back-up tied into the lead this issue, but it really seems like the back-up either didn’t need to be told at all or could have been told as part of the lead. I really didn’t need 10 pages of a Konvikt/GL fight. I guess it makes sense that this would be a back-up since it didn’t directly involve the Trinity, but then again what amounts to 2 of the 12 pages in the lead didn’t feature the title characters.
The lead was pretty good, but it’s really too early in the story to tell. As ridiculous as the story probably sounded in my recap, Kurt Busiek actually gave pretty good reasons why Superman could grab a sun and Batman could reverse the Gotham transformation. Mark Bagley’s art was shaky on the first few pages, but it improved after that. Bagley couldn’t make Enigma and Le Fey look cool, though.
Busiek once again gave Wonder Woman a character-defining moment when she asked Superman to stand back and let her take out the giant robots, because she wanted to challenge herself. Busiek’s doing a really good job of giving her a distinct personality, sadly better than Gail Simone is doing in the regular WW title.
Things to keep an eye on: In the first panel, Morgaine Le Fey says “I have set matters in Los Angeles.” However, the story only takes place in Gotham, Metropolis, Washington and Massachusetts. So what’s going on in LA?
Konvikt may not be evil, just misunderstood. Wow, original concept, guys. Graak says that Konvikt just got dumped, both by his girlfriend and his spaceship, and they just need a way home. GL was too busy punching to notice, though.
At one point in the fight with Konvikt, GL started talking in binary and his arms turned into giant guns. WTF?
In an interview this week, Kurt Busiek said that Enigma has appeared before in a different identity. Despite what I said Saturday, let’s hope it doesn’t turn out to be The Riddler, because that would ironically be the least mysterious mystery ever.