“The Extinction Machine” Pt. 2
The opening storyline of the relaunched title by Bryan Hitch and Tony Daniels continues in this issue. The catastrophes that occurred in the previous issue have finally ended and the group has decided to regroup and talk the various things going on. Batman is dealing with the alien threat that hit Gotham, Wonder Woman is dealing with the possessed people while the rest of the members dealing with the natural catastrophes. They all quickly come to the summation that none of this can be a coincidence. Cyborg states how there is an outside force affecting Earth’s gravity and that would explain the natural catastrophes. But the Watchtower is quickly attacked and while the members of the team deal with it, Wonder Woman and Batman have another mission. Batman needs to go get “him”. Who is him? Superman. What for? Superman needs to go to the center of the Earth.
The issue is one where the team needs to take a break. It also serves to function as a way to catch the reader on what is going on. The first issue had a straight forward manner where there was a little to no exposition about the goings on. This issue rectifies that as the team is just as confused as the reader. They do not know what these threats are either. When the team is going over it, it is usually easy to give most of this dialogue to either Batman or Cyborg. Instead every member gets a chance to chime in with their different opinions and work on a solution. The Green Lanterns really shine as the newbies of the team. Not only are they new to the team and being a Green Lantern, they are new to being partners with one another. There is something else going on with Aquaman but that seems to be a slow burn with his portion.
The interactions between Batman and Superman are interesting. Batman does not trust this Superman. He knows that Superman is needed for the situation and so he will trust him to do the right thing. It is easy to chalk this up to Batman being his usual paranoid self and the dialogue indicates that this does play an element. There is an added element that Batman misses the deceased Superman who he had come to trust for years. He frequently refers to the dead Superman as his friend, which is something Batman rarely does. So while he may have justified distrust of Superman, it really comes down to Batman missing his friend. Superman has hardly appeared in the two issues so we do not know how he feels about Batman or the League other than a natural respect. But does he know about their wariness of him?
Bryan Hitch and Tony Daniels seem to be a match made in heaven for this book. Bryan Hitch is known for his bombastic storytelling but unfortunately can’t seem to stay on a book in a timely manner. Tony Daniels is someone who can do that and has experience with drawing most of these heroes. So they seem to gel with Hitch’s big story and Daniels’ artwork that can keep up with what is going on. Overall, I am thoroughly entertained by the initial storyline and will be back for the third issue.