Strap in tight folks, we're head to Apokolips and it's going to be a wild, if somewhat un-fulfilling ride:
Was it just me or did this, the second of our three crossover chapters, seem really long? Normally that's a good thing, but here it felt like a lot of our time was spent lurching haphazardly from one scene to the next trying to keep in-step with our dazed and confused hero. From the Hunger Dog fishing trip that kicks things off, to Big Blue coming to the aid of, then seemingly bumping uglies with Amazing Grace (who by the way is punching far above her weight in my bitchy opinion) it seems a long, hard slog. There is an awesome full page Ordway splash of Supes, now dubbed Savior in his Grace-fueled confusion. He's sporting a tattered S-cape flag, a good crop of the always welcome super-stubble and is whomping the shit out of a bunch of Darkseid's minions with a mace! You gotta love that! The issue ends with super-stubbly-Savior throwing his new-found Hunger Dog allies to the para-demon shaped wolves, then pledging his allegiance and his daddy-issues to Darkseid. How easily the unattractive redhead and the dark master of the Mankini got Supes to pull a heel turn kinda leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
This one almost grabbed the top spot on the strength of that sweet cover alone - lookit that thing! As for the story, I guess it follows on from an issue of Legends that I haven't read because we join things already in motion with Clark Kent being pursued through the streets of Metropolis by Darkseid's Omega Beams (which is just as ridculuous/awesome as it sounds). Despite his impressive duckings and divings they catch up and zap him directly into Darkseid's throne-room - where the Titan of Trunks promptly tosses his sorry, bespectacled ass out a window. It's a great opening! The rest of the issue follows a disguised Superman slumming it with the down-trodden residents of the Armaghetto and mouthing off to its cruel overlords until they sic a big robot on him! While the battle with the Pacifier robot is pretty sweet (with a nice 'no-one can be that strong' moment) it ends much too abruptly with a nose-dive into a fire-pit. Not a bad issue, but it does suffer for its distinct lack of New Gods, Female Furies and super-stubble!
Action Comics again? Are we beginning to see a pattern emerging here? Thankfully after three issues of bated breath - we finally get some New Gods (and a Granny Goodness cameo Weee-Hooo!). Its this issue's battles with first Orion and Lightray and then finally the big D himself that pushes it firmly into pole position. The fight with Orion is appropriately brutal if a little short. We're also treated to, the much more attractive this time around, Amazing Grace receiving her come-uppance at the hands of Lightray. He blinds her skanky ass when she tries her patented 'feel-them-up-into-submission' move. Once Big Blue's mind is put right (easy peasy lemon squeezy if you've got a Motherbox in your pocket) he hits us with a classic Darth Vader 'Nooooo':
Then zips right off to kick Darkseid's ass. Byrne gives us a memorable fight scene. Clark turning the Omega Beams back on their master then repeatedly chin-checking Darkseid until he finally puts him on his bathing suited ass. Sadly we end anti-climatically with Darkseid going out like a chump by boom-tubing the fighting mad boy scout back to Metropolis. Boo-urns!
As first crossovers go, this could've gone better. But fear not loyal YouAreComicers, our uneven, pun-heavy coverage can't be derailed by unsatisfying storylines or by dictatorial swimwear fetishes. We'll be back with more Post-Crisis Punch-Up in a few short weeks.