Monday, February 29, 2016

DK III: The Master Race #3

The Key to the Fortress of Solitude? This story obviously takes place in a universe of which DC Comics is ashamed.

Rating: +1 Ranking.

These may be fictional versions of fictional characters but they're up there among the best portrayals of Batman and Superman I've read. Sure, they've only appeared for one issue and things could go downhill quickly but I liked them this issue. I genuinely liked their characterizations here.

Batman acknowledges his faults and praises Carrie's work as Batman and/or Robin. He's still Batman so of course he doesn't tell her and only gives her warm fuzzies while she's sleeping (or, you know, pretending to. Probably because she knows she won't get praise while conscious. And Batman probably knows she's pretending but tells her anyway because it's some kind of game where they all save face by acting like idiots instead of honest people who care about each other). Batman knows he's needed. He knows Superman is needed. He knows they need help to save the world and he's not willing to be that version of Batman everybody seems to love. You know, the one where Batman does everything himself and staunchly refuses help but acquiesces readily when Batgirl waggles her finger at him.

Superman has taken a time out from the world because he and Batman almost destroyed it. Some people might look at this version and think, "What a puss! Superman would never abandon the world! So dumb!" But think about it. This is what I've been asking Superman to do for nearly four years now! He cannot save the world if he's constantly the most dangerous thing in it. And while I hate that modern writers have treated him as a dangerous weapon, I accept that all the stories being told simply prove that he's too dangerous to run amok on Earth. He's constantly mind-controlled or turned into Doomsday or having his powers stolen and used against him or being turned into a magic slave. Encasing himself in solid ice and locking himself away (I'm sure the front door was locked before his daughter came by to steal Kandor) was the only way to protect the Earth from himself. Right up until he knows that the Earth is in danger because of his pets and he steps up to take responsibility. The DC Youniverse could do worse than this Superman trapped in ice. Oh wait. It currently is doing worse than that.

The Kandor threat is a nice touch because even if I'm tired of bad Kryptonians coming out of nowhere to attack Earth, it's a believable setup to have a handful of villainous Kandorians out of a whole city full of them. Having Wonderman (Supergirl's daughter! She took her mother's first name and father's last name. At least in my imagination) turn against him works because she's got Daddy Issues due to Absent Father Syndrome.

Why is it older Batman is always so much better than late twenties/early thirties Batman? Oh wait. I know the answer to that! I just won't say it because I don't want to offend people in their late twenties and early thirties by performing clique maintenance!

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