It has been a while since I had covered the remainder of this series and boy have I forgotten about this story. The last time in the series we saw Batman and Superman teaming up to take down an evil Kryptonian cult by giving them a help through the dispersal of Kryptonian laced rain as well as them both being decked out in power armour, with Superman’s being more designed to protect him from the rain. However not everything was going well for them as Baal managed to get a heat beam off on Batman leaving him in a critical state.
We open up on Superman flying through the sky, holding a dying Batman trying to get him off somewhere hoping that he can hang in and stay alive for the time being, but it doesn’t seem that it could be likely. Back over in Gotham we see the destruction that has happened with narration from news outlets and text messages about how they are now free from the Kryptonians and we see one of the things that I do really hate about and that being the Trump analogy. I know that this is a Frank Miller penned story and he is accustom to do crap like this but really having a Trump analogy is just a waste of time, from me personally because a) I am British and b) it does also date the story as well which I wish creators wouldn’t do especially when this is a story that is set in the future crap like this won’t end up happening. Anyway back to the story, Carrie is observing the damage that has happened and is trying to contact Batman but he isn’t responding, that is when Yindel and a few members of the GCPD approach her holding Batman’s helmet which causes Carrie to break down crying.
Back over with Superman, he is still flying to save Batman, and we see Hal Jordon walking through the desert feeling remorseful about the power that he once had and that he misses flying. On the next page we find Ray Palmer, at a sub-atomic level, where he is working on a plan to get back at the Kryptonians for what they have done. Over with Lara she is trying to find out what had happened to Baal and he reveals the damage that the Kryptonite had done to his face and she asks him why he ran instead of getting vengeance when the arise above the cloud line to find the remaining cultist there with Quar. He says that they are going to have their revenge on what had happened, that being their plan to take Lara’s baby brother, Johnathan. Lara does warn him that they are protected by the Amazons and Quar turns around backhands her with his fist asking her if she is siding with them or the Amazons and says that they are going to take Kal-El’s son the same way that they took Lara.
Back over in Gotham, Yindel and Carrie are talking about the destruction that has happened and wonder if it was all worth it, Carrie says that it was worth it since that they stood up for what they had believed in, but Yindel gives her a bit of a reality check. She says that heroes like her just don’t inspire others, but they also expose the problems as well with they’re pretty much being a high casualty rate with what has happened. Carrie says to her that this isn’t the time to get into semantics and says that they need to bury the dead and also says that they will be getting a new Batsignal fixed so that the two of them can stay in touch. Superman arrives at the location where he wanted to be, and it turns out to be a Lazarus Pit where he drops Batman into.
The micro issue is a bit better than some of the previous issues and it also ties a lot more into the current story as we see Hal Jordon continuing to walk through the desert and we see Hawkboy and Hawkgirl and they guide Hal to a city. One of the down things that I do have to say is that for some reason Hal covers up his face and there aren’t only two different designs to it with one showing that it looks more like a hood covering him and the second being wrapping around his head and mouth. But it also reminds me of one of the more infamous Frank Miller penned stories that being Holy Terror and it reminds me how the terrorist looked like on the cover. He arrives in the city where he is pulled aside by people where an old guy knows what he is after patting down the stump of his arm. It turns out the guy knows who has his hand, along with the Power Ring and he tries to exchange it with a bar of gold but the person says that it isn’t for sale and this causes Hal to take it by force and somehow the hand has gained sentience and is helping Hal take out the people with the help of the Hawk kids and he somehow manages to get into costume with what appears to also be a Bat-Mite appearing ending the issue.
Back over in the Lazarus Pit we see Superman waiting to see if Batman is going to emerge from the pit and he does, managing to take down Superman and the two of them wrestle with Superman trying to get him to realise where he is and who he is. Elsewhere, Lara has arrived to take Johnathan away and back to the Kryptonians but she is stopped by Wonder Woman who holds a sword up to her, but Lara says that she isn’t alone and we see the cultists flying through the jungle, but Wonder Woman says that neither is she and we see an army of armed Amazonians aimed to defend from the attacking Kryptonians, ending the issue.
Issue eight opens up of Carrie watching the footage of Batman being killed by Baal and it seems that she doesn’t know what to make of the footage, but Flash tries to reassure her that it may not be all doom and gloom and that he may not be actually did die. But it appears to them that Batman isn’t dead yet as he and Superman appear in the cave and we are getting to a bit that I really do think is a misstep of the series, and that is de-aging Batman and making him younger. I think that this was a really stupid thing to do for the series since that the whole reason why this was the Dark Knight Returns was dealing with an older Batman in an aged world and him having to deal with newer threats at an old age makes it seem more of an interesting story as well as him training a new ward in the from of Carrie, this does have similar sounds to Batman Beyond with the Old Bruce and Terry. But with this it defeats a purpose and it just gives Miller another reason to continue writing any more Dark Knight stories, which I personally wish that he would stop doing because this isn’t the eighties anymore and times have changed, a lot of people do like the idea of change. Hell, I was rather intrigued by DC 5G plan but with current climate being what it has been it looks like that is going to be pushed back to a very later date. Back to the story, over with the Amazons, the wives of Quar come to bargain with Wonder Woman saying that if they give up her son, they would let them live but a spear is thrown at them leading them to start a war with Wonder Woman giving off a rather creepy smile.
Back over in the Batcave, Batman is annoyed with what Superman had done, resurrecting him in a pit, but they say they are going to talk about that later and he complains next, more light-heartedly towards Carrie about destroying the Batmobile and reveals that he still has a fleet of older versions. Flash calls in saying that Wonder Woman is calling, and she says that the Kryptonians are attacking them, with Superman heading off, and that they are going to be there as soon as they can. Back over in Amazonia, Wonder Woman is asking Lara to hand over her brother, with Lara asking if she trusts her, which she doesn’t answer, and we then see the first wave of attacking Kryptonians who attack them with heat blast. However they hold up their shields and they are able to withstand the attack with the realisation that they are using magic shields to the shock of the Kryptonians and Wonder Woman comes out, with Johnathan strapped to her back and comes out wielding dual swords which is rather bad ass and she leads them into war against the Kryptonians. The micro issue is rather boring, it deals with Yindel dealing with an old DK villain called Bruno who is most infamous for having swastika pasties on her breasts.
Back to the fighting, it seems to be going well for the Amazonians and even more so when they have their own battalion of warriors on Pegasus. Inside, Lara is confronted by the wives of Quar who are disappointed by the fact that she doesn’t have the baby with her, and they fly off telling her to follow them. At the entrance there is a knock at the door and the Amazons open it revealing that it is Superman and we see Wonder Woman walking towards him covered in blood after decimating several Kryptonians and embracing with him. But before they can say anymore, Flash contacts them informing them on Quar and his children that have absorbed power from nukes and they have gathered together, Superman heads off and Wonder Woman says that catch up with him later, ending the issue.
Issue nine opens with Quar talking about how disappointed in the Earth on how they haven’t accepted him as their God and that he is going to make them pay for it. Lara is surrounded by Quar’s wives who seem to be upset with her not bringing them the child and having her doubt herself as a Kryptonian, however a blinding green light appears and Green Lantern tells her to get out of there and to leave him with the wives who think that they might have a upper hand, however GL believes he can take them on. Carrie and Batman are talking in the Batmobile and she asks him what it is like to feel young again, and he says that it feels wrong but she doesn’t believe him and he says that with this he now has a second chance. This is something that I do like about the story and is something that I will credit to the writing, when this started out it seemed that this version of Batman had made more problems for himself and with him now being rejuvenated thanks to the Lazarus Pit, he wants to write the wrongs that had happened. Quar keeps on with his preaching and then we see something weird, he is being broadcasted to the world, so does that mean that one of the Kryptonians has a camera or a media crew following them to broadcast it or what. Batman flicks a switch on the Batmobile that sends out a wave towards the caverns that Quar and his forces are flying by and we see a swarm of bats attacking them.
They start to try and defend themselves from the swarm, however in the process they end up hitting each other with heat blasts and the majority of them fall to the ground. But it looks like there seems to be trouble in paradise as a majority of the Kryptonians are wanting to leave the Earth for the humans to destroy, but Quar seems to be not having it and he and his followers end up killing the people that are wanting to leave. Batman goes to confront Quar, but Superman intervenes asking him to leave Quar to him because he gave him a second chance and he doesn’t want him to die again and that the world needs a Batman. He confronts Quar, who he and his remaining followers surrounded Lara, and they end up taking turns beating him up but Baal can punch him, Superman blocks it and we get a small breakdown moments in a similar vain to Guy Pierces Sherlock Holmes film, in which he focuses on specific parts of his followers and he just goes all out on them and Batman saying that this is Superman not holding back and he manages to take everybody out, leaving Quar to last.
Quar has them to self-detonate and they start glowing and Batman notes on the destruction that one exploding Kryptonian did to Moscow they don’t want to see what happens when six detonate on a fault line. But neither Superman or Batman and Carrie stop them, but it is Atom who manages to enlarge himself and shrink the detonators and them detonating them without having to worry about any major fallout. Quar goes to make the detonation himself, however that is stopped thanks to Lara who manages to take down Quar and sends him into the Sun to detonate. Two months later it appears that Superman has fallen off the face of the Earth and even Batman can’t seem to find him, and he hopes to see him one more time somewhere. Carrie walks in and she asks if he is ready to go out of patrol and he is ready and we see that Carrie has a new costume, this one being a newer version of her old costume and a new colour scheme and an inverse colour scheme of Batman’s which I do like, they head out and the last panel that we get is the classic reimagining with Batman and Batwoman going through the city in silhouette with the lightning bolt in the background.
Now for this issue I am going to talk about the micro issue here and instead of where it was inserted since that it is more of an epilogue to the story so it makes sense for me to talk about it here. The story is basically Lara and Superman talking along with panels other heroes dealing with things that are happening with Flash helping out Yindel with a bank robber, apparently, and Wonder Woman taking out a Hydra. To sum up the story it is pretty much Superman deciding to become more human and hanging up the tights and he is wanting Lara to also experience the same even for a short time.
Overall, this series is a mixed bag for me and there seems to be a rather mix to the story, for instance the Kryptonians have been released from the bottle to only then being rebottled. The villain for the story is rather interesting but I wish that there were more of a backstory to him that could flush him out even more, like his practises and the reasons why preaches the way that he does. But the biggest miss step that the was the death and resurrection of Batman and I don’t think that they should have brought him back to life since they could have still had Superman standing up to take down Quar and then having him go off the radar and having Carrie teaming up with Flash and Yindel to protect Gotham City from future threats. There is a part of me that wonders what The Golden Child is going to be like but that could be something for the future.