The GoodWhoa, whoa, whoa... did that really just happen? It's a good thing this comic comes out every Tuesday because writer Tom Taylor is doing a helluva job dropping our jaws with each cliffhanger and leaving us totally wanting more.
Now, this cliffhanger is sure to be controversial. I know quite a few Superman fans that are going to shoot steam from their ears when Superman brutally kills Joker. Even Batman says Superman is one of the greatest men he knows and, in time, he'll be able to endure this tragedy. But let's be realistic here for a moment. The man lost the love of his life, his unborn child and the city he calls home (not to mention all of his friends, co-workers and innocents within that concrete jungle) in the span of a few seconds. In issue #1 he was nothing but goofy smiles about the bright future ahead of him and now in a mere instant it's all destroyed... and to top it off, he can't help but feel partially responsible for this horrific event. I don't care how much willpower you have or how firmly you stand by your morals, that's more than enough to make anyone potentially break. That said, we know Joker's in the game, so was this perhaps just a stand-in for the villain the entire time? That's something I wouldn't be able to swallow because, like issue #1 showcased, Batman is a top-notch detective and would be able to notice even the smallest differences in the villain and they've been in contact since the submarine incident.
This issue does a superb job conveying the unbelievable events Kal-El has just endured. Mike S. Miller does a top-notch job with his facial expressions. Truthfully, you don't even need the dialogue to fully appreciate and understand everything that goes down in this issue. It's gripping how we see Superman shift from a broken man filled with sorrow to a focus and determined man overwhelmed by rage.
There's so much gripping content here, but one of my favorite scenes had to be Hal Jordan's attempt to stop Superman. We know he really doesn't stand much of a chance against Superman -- especially when this determined -- and it's handled very well. The look on Superman's face as he holds Hal's ring was so powerful to me. It was a mix of sympathy for Green Lantern and his attention clearly being elsewhere -- this wasn't even an obstacle for him, yet he realize his friend is desperately trying to help. The parting dialogue managed to be brilliantly effective in this moment, too.
I love to hate Taylor's take on the Joker. He's twisted and offensive yet still disturbingly humorous and diabolical (no one tell PETA about this issue!). It's haunting and plays off of Batman so well. Additionally, I can't help but laugh at a well used video game reference in a prequel comic for a video game.