In keeping with my decision to read most of the last issues of comics before OYL (I passed on Wonder Woman), I read this and the one before it. It's hard to figure out the timing of all the Bat books. By now we've seen that Bats knows Dick is okay and that they've had a discussion about the Bludhaven mess and Dick's role in the death of Blockbuster (and will I ever be able to think of or write that name without thinking of rental movies?), so clearly, this isn't where things end for Bruce, especially in light of Infinite Crisis, including the issues of that we haven't seen yet. The cover was nice, the interior art not so nice. The mouths are quite exaggerated, leaving the faces in their entirety looking distorted. And there's the whole element of embarrassment that goes with the Joker, who provides needed comic relief (intentional or not) being witness to what is essentially a personal squabble between dysfunctional family members. An odd lead-in to OYL.
Finally got around to reading this, probably because I had to work up the energy for another bout of Rann/Thanagar war hijinks. The art was nice enough, with plenty of panels showing off Carter's muscular and hairy chest. And before we returned to the battlefield, we were treated to Carter and Kendra basking in the afterglow of their night of making whoopie. And finally, Carter got to pontificate and sound all self-important, meaning he was in character, if a bit dull and cliched. Even the nice "I will always love you no matter what happens." "I know." had an old feel to it. So, it was okay, and much as I do love Carter, I'm really looking forward to the OYL Hawkgirl book.
I applaud DC and Jeph Loeb for combining the last chapters of this opening story arc and expanding book 5 to get it all in and in our hands before OYL. And I was very sorry to hear about Loeb's son's death. It couldn't be easy for him. The art by Churchill and Rapmuno was very nice, and the two sides of Supergirl, while not terribly fresh, was intriguing. I'm not sure I like the idea of Zor-El and Jor-El being such rivals that they would each wish the other's child ill, but it makes for a more complex background and gives Kara something to overcome. I did like the search for inner self played out so physically as both her personalities — the true nasty one and the created innocent one — were manifested and fought it out, with the newer, no-longer-so-innocent one surviving and ready to find her way in the universe. At her core, she's still Kara and I'm not so set on the past that I can't bear the thought that her natural parents weren't nice. What really matters is where things go from here. The Nightwing/Flamebird duo of SG and Power Girl could be great or a real disappointment. The suspense will end soon enough.