Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Superman/Batman #66

“Night of the Cure” Part One


Writer/Penciller: Scott Kolins Geoff Johns

Editor: Eddie Berganza


Synopsis


Solomon Grundy rises as a Black Lantern, and attacks his fellow monsters Bizarro and Man-Bat. Meanwhile, Frankenstein and S.H.A.D.E. aid Francine Langstrom in an effort to transform Man-Bat into Kurt Langstrom, lest he be trapped in his bestial form forever…


Notes


Um…Yeah. Not my favorite Blackest Night tie-in issue, to be honest. I thought that Scott Kolins’ Solomon Grundy mini-series was fun…but it went on about three issues too long, in my opinion. Love his artwork, but the story was a bit lacking. Just not my cup of tea. Anyway, we soldier onward and upward…


Page 1: This page takes place concurrent with Solomon Grundy #7, page 20. Thus, the events of that mini-series take place the week before the events of Blackest Night (just to put everything in context for you).


Page 2: A really, really, really brief recap of Grundy’s multiple lives and deaths.


Page 3: This page takes place concurrent with Solomon Grundy #7 pages 21-22.


Solomon Grundy, real name Cyrus Gold. First appeared in All-American Comics #61. Has died and returned to life many, many times, the most recent of which was seen in Solomon Grundy #7. Possesses superhuman strength and endurance, and is nearly indestructible.


Grundy is, of course, named after a 19th century nursery rhyme:


Solomon Grundy,

Born on a Monday,

Christened on Tuesday,

Married on Wednesday,

Took ill on Thursday,

Grew worse on Friday,

Died on Saturday,

Buried on Sunday.

This is the end

Of Solomon Grundy.


Page 4: Not sure when the lights went out in Gotham. The only thing that makes sense is that Green Lantern and the Flash’s battle with Black Lantern Martian Manhunter in Blackest Night #2 looked like it took place at some sort of power plant; maybe the explosion there knocked out the power in Gotham City.


A hallmark of this series is the first-person narration by both Superman and Batman ; their internal monologues often conflict with one another. Despite the fact that both title characters are absent from this issue, both Man-Bat and Bizarro get their chance to narrate.


Page 5: S.H.A.D.E. refers to the Super Human Advanced Defense Executive, a U.S. military organization that investigates and contains paranormal and superhuman activity. They first appeared in Seven Soldiers: Frankenstein #3.


Page 6: Man-Bat, real name Kirk Langstrom. First appeared in Detective Comics #400. Able to transform into a bat-like creature with enhanced strength, agility and endurance, the ability to fly with leathery wings the power of sonar navigation.


Man-Bat has been appearing in the Bat-titles as of late; he was an active participant in the whole Battle for the Cowl storyline, and was recently features in Batman: Streets of Gotham #5 and 6.


He also made an appearance in Outsiders (fourth series) #23 in a story that literally takes place only a few hours ago, DCU time. In it, he was down in the Louisiana Bayou, battling the Outsiders alongside Killer Croc. Thus, after that battle, he flew back to Gotham to take part in this story. Boy, his arms must be tired…


Page 9: The Bat-Signal is all broken because Black Lantern Martian Manhunter flung Green Lantern into it in Green Lantern (fourth series) #44 and Blackest Night #2.


The African-American gentleman on this page looks a heck of a lot like Crispus Allen, now known as the Spectre.


Page 10: Bizarro III, also known as Bizarro Superman and Bizarro #1. First appeared in Superman (second series) #160. An imperfect duplicate of Superman with superhuman strength, speed, invulnerability, freeze-vision and heat breath.


In case you were wondering the first post-Crisis Bizarro appeared in Man of Steel #5 and was destroyed; it was a clone of Superman created by Lex Luthor. Luthor created another of these clones to aid him in stopping Metropolis’ Clone Plague in Superman (second series) #87; he died in Superman (second series) #88. The current Bizarro was created by the Joker during the “Emperor Joker” storyline.


Remember, Bizarro says the opposite of what he means. Thus, “Me want enemies!” means “I want friends!” Try it, it’s fun! (And thoroughly annoying after the second page.)


Page 11: Bizarro recalls a simpler time in Solomon Grundy #2, in which he and Grundy shared the contents of a hot dog wagon after beating the holy hell out of one another. Now they’re BFFs.


Page 12: The Bride of Frankenstein, also known as The Bride. First appeared in Seven Soldiers: Frankenstein #3. Possesses superhuman strength and invulnerability, four arms and uncanny marksmanship.


Frankenstein’s Monster, also known as Frankenstein. First appeared (historical) in Detective Comics #135 and (modern) in Seven Soldiers: Frankenstein #1. Possesses superhuman strength and invulnerability due to his unkillable nature.


Francine Langstrom, Kirk’s wife. First appeared in Detective Comics #402. She’s had a rough life; her husband’s Man-Bat, she’s been transformed into a She-Bat, she has a little baby-bat…Give the poor girl a break, hunh?


Basically, the story of Man-Bat is this – Kirk takes his serum so he can do good things as Man-Bat. Kirk stays in his Man-Bat form for too long and begins losing his humanity. Francine gets worried, and Batman gets involved. Man-Bat becomes mindless and no longer wants to be Kirk. Chases and fights ensue. Batman captures Man-Bat and turns him back to Kirk, and Kirk vows to never become Man-Bat again.


And then, a few years later, the cycle begins all over again.


Page 13: Awww, Frankenstein is making goo-goo eyes at the Bride. How…cute?


Page 15: Bizarro recognizes Frankenstein from their confrontation in Solomon Grundy #6.


Page 17: Man-Bat is expressing fear and love, while Bizarro is feeling avarice, rage, hope and compassion.


Page 18: Anyone else think that “Solomon Grundy Kills All Monsters” would be a really cool name for a grunge band?


Page 20: “If we don’t get this cure in you soon – there may never be another chance!” Cue dramatic music!


As Bizarro gets more upset, his emotional state changes. He goes from feeling rage, compassion, avarice and love to the strange “white noise” that Dove exhibited, as seen in Blackest Night: Titans #1-3. Does this mean that Bizarro is now immune to the Black Lanterns as well?


Page 21: Bizarro’s mood has quickly turned to rage, which should be colored red, not the violet hue seen here. However, he does tell Grundy that he “loves” him, so, according to Bizarro’s words, the color is correct (with violet being the color of love). Do I get a No-Prize for that?


Oh, sorry, wrong company…

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