Two resistive forces marched against Superman in this issue – while one mobilized and is about to launch a counterattack, the other underestimated Superman’s allied strength and fell.
Tom cleverly balanced James Gordon’s team movement in Gotham against the Superman army and the Green Lanterns losing due to the unexpected appearance of a longtime enemy in the battle.
And the level of detail is impressive, especially when it comes to Green Lanterns being depowered and the ‘energy uniforms’ fading and giving way to the respective clothes.
The artwork is impressive as usual, though not Redondo’s best work. His faces come across as too awkward at times.
Green Lanterns Hal Jordan and John Stewart hurry back to Earth but they’re too late to prevent casualties – Ch’p of Sector 1014 is dead.
They’re caught in the middle of the crossfire as the Justice League and the Green Lantern Corps battle. But with the arrival of the Sinestro Corps, Kilowog surrenders.
Tom keeps sanity in play as Hal remains effective even when plagued by his own self-doubts, as he brokers Kilowog’s surrender and is the voice of dissent when Sinestro wishes to eliminate the Lanterns.
Superman though is fading as he succumbs to his own fears as he agrees to Sinestro’s proposal to ensure Kilowog’s team never makes it back to Oa. I actually thought we would see more deaths, but thankfully we didn't.
Earlier, the fact that Wonder Woman was the main aggressor and influential person to Superman was fraught with problems of characterization with respect to Diana specifically, but Sinestro here is a more natural ‘darker grey’ character who can precipitate Kal-El’s downfall in full speed.
Tom shows a great appreciation for the DC universe lore, as he inserts the Kilowog-Arkillo conflict with great effect. Both are the military heads of their respective teams, and only Arkillo’s total respect for Sinestro prevents his murdering Kilowog.
Finally, Sinestro is ordered by Superman to make his Corps go away and surrender the depowered Green Lanterns to the League. And the Sinestro Corps leaving is witnessed by an intrigued Guy Gardner.
Elsewhere, in Gotham, Harvey Bullock is accosted and brutally hurt by a Superman army soldier. Superman has decided to start his dictatorial reign with Gotham – Batman’s home, and this doesn’t sit well with the residents.
Gordon meets up with Bullock in the hospital and they, alongwith Renee Montoya, arrange a gathering of the GCPD at an abandoned warehouse.
It is revealed that the mass production of the Superman pills are in full flow as we see Gordon take a bullet to the brain and the bullet falls on the ground flattened. Alongside the Birds of Prey (including Black Canary, Catwoman, Batwoman and Oracle), they start their mission to reclaim Gordon.
That won’t end well.
With some par artwork, attention to detail and Tom Taylor’s excellent handling of DC Universe lore, this is an excellent issue.
And the status change is appropriate to precipitate Superman’s descent into madness.
So, I give it 9.0 out of 10.
+Nice balance of the two threads
+Hal Jordan is used well
+Tom uses a DC canon conflict to great effect
-Superman comes across as too subservient to both Sinestro and Jordan