Effective, just not what I was hoping for
I'll preface this review by saying that those of you who picked up this issue expecting it to be all about the new Earth 2 Batman are going to be disappointed because the new Batman is barely in it, and by the end nothing is learned about him. If this were a regular issue of the main series, that would be fine, but for an annual with this character as its main selling point, it leaves the reader feeling cheated.
We open with Al Pratt, The Atom, going over his origin story in his head. Something I do like about this is the fact that neither Pratt himself, nor the world army's scientists are able to explain where his powers came from. I actually rather like this, in a world of complex technobabble or magic mumbo jumbo explanations for how super heroes get their powers, it's refreshing to have a guy who's as clueless as the reader as to where his powers came from. We also get some insight into Pratt's head, about how he feels survivors guilt, though has tried hard to put it behind him.
We interrupt this comic to bring you a relatively pointless interlude with Khan and Sarge Steele. Everybody got that? Okay, moving on.
Pratt is in some foreign country undercover looking for some international criminal. While the badguy thinks he has Pratt cornered, Atom reveals himself and grows to fight the baddie in a big mech suit. I'll admit, I do love a good giant brawl. During the fight, we get a brief glimpse of the new Batman taking out some of the villain's henchmen with smoke bombs.
After the fight, we finally get to see the new Batman fighting Icicle in spain. The fight is impressive, and there's a sense that Icicle's connected to Apokolips, but other than that, we don't get any new information besides the fact that there's a new Batman in town.
Finally, we cut to Gotham, apparently overrun with Dinosaurs and giant monsters, because Apokolips I guess. It is here where we're introduced to Mr. Miracle and Big Barda. The scene is brief and the dialogue between the two is entertaining. Our story ends with Fury, Wonderwoman's daughter from issue 8, attacking Barda.
Despite his lack of presence, I'm still intrigued by the new Batman. His costume is nice, very similar to the Batman costume from Falshpoint only a bit more streamlined. His identity remains a mystery but he still left a decent impression.
I also liked Mr. Miracle and Barda's brief appearance. The cliffhanger ending was intriguing and finally allowed us to see fury in action.
While I can't exactly say I disliked the bit with Atom, I felt it dragged on way to long, which was time that could have been dedicated to the reason I bought the book, Batman.
I realize that this may seem low, but the real problem hear is the fact that the new Batman, the comic's main selling point, is barely in this issue. Hopefully more will be revealed about this character will be revealed going forward.