Another Late Review...
Well at last I’m back. Due to me having finished most of my exams, I now have the time to spare to do a late review of this issue of Grounded. This issue is about yet another first meeting between the World’s Finest. Will it be a good issue?
Superman encounters an archaeologist trying to preserve an important digging site before meeting with Batman to discuss the first time they met.
· Superman #710 starts off with an interesting look at the issue of preserving important digging sites from the gluttony of companies wanting to dump waste. A neat, concise start.
· Then we instantly get to the meeting of Superman and the original Bruce Wayne Batman. And the way in which Bruce summons Supes is quite funny as well. Why does he do it? Because he’s the goddamn Batman and he can!
· After typically explaining the situation to Batman, the reader is then whisked back to the past and treated to a different artist to most of this issue. The story is set way back before Clark became Superman and Bruce became Batman. Although I didn’t understand the need for there to be another first meeting between Superman and Batman, it still made for a great read
· Another thing this issue excels in is the use of continuity. It references the Superman: Odyssey one shot and uses that to link Superman and Batman together. Also there is mention of Return of Bruce Wayne and the terribly bad Superman: Camelot Falls storyline. Despite the crappiness of this story, I did like Kyber and it was nice to see him and Vandal Savage cooperating in order to get what the other wanted. I especially liked the cancerous cells causing Savage pain the best part of not only the use of continuity but also the reason why he goes after Nanda Parbat
· The interactions between Clark and Bruce was fun to read. Their nicknaming of Smallville and Gotham was amusing to read as was their first conversation at the beginning of the story. And finding out that my 2 favourite superheroes are comic book geeks of their own was a highlight as well as their clash on what justice means, showing the depth of their future friendship.
· The fight between the World’s Finest and the Chinese Army was great to see. It was brilliant to see Bruce use strategy to even the odds by tapping into fear as a weapon whilst Clark taking on tanks and all other armoured vehicles single handed was a joy to read
· The strongest point storywise was the final 3 pages. The fact Bruce is able to so adeptly tell what is troubling Superman which is the reality that Superman hadn’t really suffered a personal tragedy until Jonathan Kent died and that when New Krypton was destroyed, it broke the invulnerable man. And then to top it off Batman provides a different opinion on what the Flash said last issue. The emotion of loss doesn’t get better but learning to cope with it means you can draw strength from it. That was the highlight of this issue.
· Final point storywise. Batman provides a practical solution to the problem at the beginning of the issue. Why didn’t Superman contact Batman in issue 707? That was one of my main criticisms of the issue?! Ah well it’s in the past now...
· The art is brilliant on Barrows and Mayer’s part. Detailed pencilling from Eddy and gorgeous inks from Mayer. Superman artwork has rarely been this good.
· However, despite the good artwork on both parts of the story, it is jarring to see them clash. It’s a shame Barrows and Mayer aren’t doing full time art for Superman
· The cover is the biggest let down of the issue. It’s bland and dull. A shame really as Cassaday can pull off really good covers sometimes.
So despite the cover, don’t let this put you off. This is the best overall story from Grounded and the artwork although jarring is good too.