October 1, 2022

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Noteworthy Issues: Batman: Last Knight On Earth #3 (December, 2019)

Batman comes face to face with Omega, with the fate of seemingly everything at stake.

Well, if things seemed hopeless before, that would fit in with a Scott Snyder story.

If Batman somehow prevails despite how hopeless it is, even if it seems a little too improbable, that is also a Scott Snyder story.

Issue:  Batman: Last Knight on Earth #3, December 2019

Writer:  Scott Snyder

Artists:  Greg Capullo and Jonathan Glapion

The Plot:  Batman, with only a handful of allies, rallies his forces to stop Omega from unleashing his final plan.

Commentary:  Well, that was…something.

I have noticed that sometimes Scott Snyder’s stories seem to set up a villain that is seemingly too powerful.  That holds true here as Omega has somehow defeated, oh, everybody.  He has Darkseid’s head on a pike, and he’s been controlling Gotham City using the Martian Manhunter to send the Anti-Life Equation out as a broadcast.  A small rebel group consisting of many of the surviving friends and allies of the Batman–special props to Commissioner Gordon, here depicted as some kind of old hippie, because that tickles me just the right way–is out there trying to survive, but a modified version of the Formula is soon set to go out, one that would end free will even for these people with their special protection.  Nightwing seems to be the leader, but now they have maybe some hope in the form of Wonder Woman, the Joker’s head, and the young Bruce clone that is now Batman.  Can these guys stop Omega if they split up, with Batman and Joker taking on Omega himself while the others shut down his broadcast beneath Arkham Asylum, guarded by physically and psychologically warped survivors of Bruce’s old rogues gallery?

Well, they will, but that isn’t a problem.  I expect them to.  It’s a little weird that Joker is given a robot body to finally act as “Robin,” but why not?  At least he’s not working for the bad guys here.

Instead, well, there’s the Omega reveal, and here’s where I am a little put off.  The series had established that Bruce originally died letting an angry mob into the Hall of Justice.  But then it turns out an angry and elderly Bruce Wayne is Omega.  He somehow survived that mob, rebuilt himself, and then went on to take out, oh, everybody because he’s evil now.  On the one hand, this does justify the Bruce clone seeing all the dead heroes (and Alfred) in the underworld and thinking he was responsible because, since he’s a clone of the original, he sort of is.  On the other hand…yeah, I love Batman as a character as much as the next DC fan, but how the hell did Bruce take out whole dimensions and alien races?  He has Darkseid’s head on a pike.  How did he do that?  That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.  Maybe if I saw how it worked, I would buy it, but instead, he just did  it at some point and that’s that.  I know the old adage is that Batman can defeat anyone “with preparation,” but can’t there be limits?  How did Bruce manage to somehow destroy Heaven and Hell?  I don’t think being a billionaire playboy master detective allows for, well, that.

Somehow, this sort of thing kills my suspension of disbelief.  This isn’t even the only time I’ve seen Snyder make an overpowered, evil Batman since that is basically the Batman Who Laughs’s whole deal.

And I have more to say about that guy in the near future, so stay tuned for a future “Noteworthy Issue”.

Regardless, here’s a Bruce Wayne that managed to defeat even beings that should have been well above his power level, and his clone, well…still defeats him.  That seems…unlikely.  Sure, the clone of Bruce gives a good explanation at to why that would happen, that the clone was Bruce’s contingency plan against himself going bad, but the point stands.  It just felt anticlimactic before the whole thing went with the super-happy ending.

Kinda like Dark Nights: Metal now that I think about it.

So, a  so-so conclusion to what had been a fairly good story up until then.

Grade:  C+

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