The Grayson family is back, but the Crusaders and Mr. Freeze are crashing the family reunion.
After a stunning revelation about the nature of Jake’s powers, the former Titans head to Metropolis to join forces with the one person who they believe they can restore the world’s superpowers–the depowered Superman! Caught between his old friends and the new order he created, Dick Grayson refuses to let his son become a weapon for either side…but is it even his choice anymore? How far will Dick go to protect his son?
What’s the skinny?
Last we saw Dick he had reunited with his estranged wife, Starfire aka Kory and his old team the Teen Titans. The pair was able to put their conflicting ideologies aside to cooperate to save the person that matters the most to both of them, their son Jake. After a brief reunion with Jake, the Titans and Dick were ambushed by Mr. Freeze, who has transformed himself into a super powered cyborg.
Suffice to say the Titans, Jake and Dick are in dire straights. They’ve barely fended off Mr. Freeze when the Crusaders arrive en masse and Freeze reemerges as an arachnid cyborg that looks straight out of John Carpenter’s The Thing. The situation is looking truly bleak until the combination of Lois’ ring’s healing abilities and the stress of the moment awaken Jake’s dormant powers. Not only does Jake’s blood hold the power to cure meta-humans who’ve lost their abilities, but it also packs quite the punch as he literally blows the roof off his prison.
The joy of Jake’s escape from the Crusaders and being reunited with Kory is short lived, as Dick wants to take his son, flee to Europe and has zero interest in helping the Titans develop a cure. Unfortunately for Dick his son doesn’t feel the same way. After knocking out Dick, the Titans, Jake and his restrained father arrive to where it all began, Metropolis. Here we find the unlikely pair of a depowered Superman and cyborg Lex Luthor working together in the underground resistance to find a cure. Through talking with Superman and Lex, Jake is given new insight into the events that led to his father’s world changing choice.
What’s the catch?
We were introduced to Liz early on in the story, as one of the few Crusaders to get a role beyond that of nameless foot soldier. As our tale has progressed we’ve come to know that she has a strong intellect, inquisitive mind and compassion for Dick’s tragedy. It comes to light that Kate Kane has been keeping a close eye on her and has more or less caught her in the act of betrayal. So given the fact that the new leader of the Crusaders (Kane) believes one of her agents has betrayed the government, why the hell would she bring said agent on a mission of paramount sensitivity and importance?
Is it good?
Mr. Freeze is an intimating enough guy as is, but Trevor McCarthy was able to kick that up a notch by transforming the iconic Batman villain into an arachnid cyborg spider that shoots an ice ray. Yeah it’s pretty freaking cool. There are a lot of things to appreciate about McCarthy’s work here — Wally’s mask coming off in a neat little hexagonal pattern, Superman’s Batman-esque entrance, Lois’ modern punk haircut and Superman’s retelling of his greatest regret. After having read four issues of his work, it comes as no surprise that McCarthy delivers an issue jam packed with visually stunning moments.
There’s a lot of action, hand-to-hand fighting, guns and superpowers to be found here. Thanks to our color man Dean White, none of the really neat powers on display get lost in the background. White’s style makes all those big moments pop off the page and commands the reader to put their eyes exactly where he wants them.
I’ve been waiting for Kate Kane to step out from behind her desk and the moment has finally arrived. While she isn’t swinging around in a batsuit she’s still at the forefront of the action, decked out in armor with a big ole gun in hand. I’m a bit disappointed to see one of my favorite members of the bat-family make such a monumentally bad decision. If you suspect one of your organization’s members of betrayal, you probably shouldn’t bring them along on arguably your most important mission ever. Hopefully we’ll get to see more from Kate in the field before this story’s end.
We’ve followed Dick Grayson and the fallout from his choice that changed the entire world in an instant. Metropolis is where Dick’s world altering decision began and that’s where the stage has been set for the conclusion of Kyle Higgins’ otherworld tale. Superman is of course on site and with him is the last person I’d expect to see, Lex Luthor. It’s through Lex and Supes that we find out the answers that we’ve all had since this story began. Why did Dick do what he did, and what the heck happened to Batman? The answer to one of these questions provides us with easily the best art in the issue and some unexpected sympathy for Dick. The final chapter of Higgins’ tale is all that’s left and taking away the world’s superpowers isn’t Dick’s hardest decision anymore — it’s whether or not to betray his own son.
Like what we do here at AIPT? Consider supporting us and independent comics journalism by becoming a patron today! In addition to our sincere thanks, you can browse AIPT ad-free, gain access to our vibrant Discord community of patrons and staff members, get trade paperbacks sent to your house every month, and a lot more. Click the button below to get started!