What's the one thing you never want to do to a pissed off Superman? If you said, "give him an ultimatum, " then congratulations! That's the mistake Arthur makes in this issue and Clark's response is downright shocking. I know that whole Kraken thing was exciting, but that's quickly glossed over (there's a neat splash page from Mike S. Miller, though), and while that's unfortunate due to personal expectations, the meat of this story revolves around something way more interesting than superheroes fighting a super creature: a clash of egos.
We're treated to what's essentially a pissing contest between two leaders who are rather oblivious to the obvious. Arthur lays out a clear message about the road Clark is taking, but still, Superman disregards that notion and thinks he's saving the world -- not dictating it. Meanwhile, as powerful as Atlantis may be, Arthur makes the mistake of vastly underestimating the immensely powerful Justice Leaguer. The king of Atlantis bluntly points out he will not be bullied, and, in turn, hits the hero with a massive ultimatum. What comes next... well, it's huge. In a series filled with so many powerful moments, this one is sure to make your jaw hit the floor and there's no way I'm going to spoil it for you. It dives into some seriously dark territory and clearly serves as a precursor for the more dangerous actions Clark will be willing to take to stand firmly by his global ceasefire.
I've been mixed on Miller's art, but he does some phenomenal work with a wide range of emotions from Arthur in this one. From anger to overwhelming concern, the look in his eyes drives the scene home and brings it to life.
It's a tad disappointing we didn't have an epic battle with the Kraken, but there's limited space in each issue, and the interaction between Aquaman and Clark was a more than adequate replacement.
I know we're dealing with an alternate reality, but I'm concerned over the direction with Wonder Woman. Prior to this issue, I actually found myself able to defend -- or at least understand -- her actions. She legitimately believes Clark can make the world a better place and is pushing him to reach that potential -- but now that desire is taking an ugly turn. She's almost possessive over Superman (well, at least it's now more obvious to us) and her decision to exclude Arthur's remarks dives into a more selfish and evil territory (though I do appreciate her moment of hesitation). I like it when characters tip-toe the moral line, but I have a feeling it'll become more and more difficult to justify her actions as the story progresses. I'm sure Taylor will have her play the "I'm just doing what I think is right!" card, but, as of right now, I find it hard to imagine we'll feel much empathy for her as she continues to pull Superman's strings down the road.
Injustice Day (that's every Tuesday if you haven't been following along) continues to rock. I'm not a fan of phrases like "the most bang for your buck," but the saying applies so darn well in this case. Yes, it's shorter than a standard issue, but that's irrelevant since the quality is well above the majority of titles populating the stands. It continues to be a short and phenomenal read and, seeing as it's just $0.99, there's really no reason to miss out if you're interested in this elseworlds tale.
And since someone always asks: no, you don't need to purchase the game to appreciate the read. Writer Tom Taylor has confirmed this series will continue past the game's release date. Oh, and did I mention a demo for the game is hitting XBLA and PSN today, too (for the US... tomorrow for everyone else)? Because it totally is.