Itsy Bitsy Batsy……
Lex Luthor confront Bruce Wayne while Jessica Cruz is about to face her ‘destiny’.
Geoff Johns handles the Jessica bits very well, but as usual, fails to deal Bruce Wayne with the same deft hands.
The artwork is Manke is also subpar, with faces getting more and more distorted as the page count increases. The scenes at Lexcorp are some of the least detailed Manke work I’ve seen.
Jessica Cruz has been found out by the late Earth 3 Hal Jordan’s ring and is cajoled and coaxed into becoming its new host. We see the ring expertly weave it’s psychological tapestry as it predates on her being what I can assume to be a rape victim and her want of revenge on her assailants.
But Cruz is more willed than Earth 3 Jordan in this respect, as she manages to keep length with the ring and even tries shooting it. Sadly, the ring is able to force itself on her.
Elsewhere, in Wayne Manor, Bruce and Lex play the guessing game infront of a fireplace. Bruce tries with all his might to evade Lex’s prods about him being Batman, mentioning Wayne Enterprises and a possible alliance with Lexcorp and even about ‘going on a holiday with a model etc etc’.
But Lex isn’t easily evaded. This begins a dance which ends with Luthor shooting and blowing up the clock, exposing the hidden entrance to the batcave.
As usual, Geoff is great when it comes to Lex. He doesn’t get flustered at Bruce’s evasion and makes mental notes of his surroundings, using them when he needs to.
The problem….lies with Batman and co. Batman has a strict no kill and no gun policy and while I can see Alfred keeping one, there are no remarks from Bruce on the matter that Alfred used one and then issued a death threat to Luthor.
Again, why would Bruce use an area like that to talk to an extremely perceptive Lex? The draft isn’t something only Lex should know of, Bruce should too.
Luthor leaves after Bruce tells the well known parable of the frog and the scorpion, embellishing it by adding a bat that kills the scorpion before it can harm the frog.
We see Bruce talking to Superman about the ‘new problem’ just as Clark and Diana receive word of a disturbance in Portland consistent with the ring’s energy.
At the Watchtower, Cyborg and Shazam do monitor duty, leaving the latter bored. We get some clunky origin exposition from Billy, and then he attempts to locate the ring but instead, constructs a ping pong table that he wanted earlier.
Meanwhile at Lexcorp, Len Snart aka Captain Cold is greeted with applause and love for his part in saving the world from the Crime Syndicate as he is added to the Lexcorp payroll.
The Justice League is able to locate Cruz, as she is forced to lay waste to a town even as the Doom Patrol arrives at the scene to take her down(seriously, why is Niles walking again? He was shown as paraplegic in an earlier Justice League issue!).
The Doom Patrol in this incarnation have the 'Chief' Niles Caulder, Robotman, Elasti-Girl and Negative Man, not to mention Element Woman also reappearing since the pre-Forever Evil days!
An excellent battle between Bruce and Lex is marred by some shoddy character work, while Manke brings a poor game to the art department.
Handling of the first human female Lantern though is engrossing and makes this a page-turner.
So, I give it 7.0 out of 10.
+Jessica Cruz’s arc is progressing strongly
+Luthor is portrayed excellently
-Batman and Johns – why?