Last week, two much talked about comics with a long history of delays finally made it to the stores – DC’s All Star Batman & Robin The Boy Wonder #5 and Marvel’s Ultimates 2 #13. I can’t even remember when the last issues of these comics came out, but I know it is over half a year ago. The only reason for such ridiculous delays seems to be to allow the artists time to complete the work with some sort of guarantee of quality. So do these two comics warrant their delays? Not really. Both issues were underwhelming. The art looked OK, but not out-of-the-ordinary. The plots fared worse.
Issue #5 of All Star Batman seemed pedestrian, and I have no idea why the issue took so long. Jim Lee’s artwork has its throwaway fanboy moments with Wonder Woman, but nothing here is shockingly creative. Frank Miller’s story for this issue doesn’t seem to go anywhere – are we witnessing the birth of the JLA or Dick Grayson’s first step towards becoming Robin? The issue doesn’t develop the arc as a whole nor is it a self-contained story. Disappointing.
As for of Ultimates 2, the supposed climax to the arc falls totally flat. Most readers won’t be able to remember the details of the story from memory and there really isn’t a payoff for all the build-up from previous issues. Suddenly Loki is exposed for what he is and everyone believes Thor after a prolonged period of doubt. How convenient. And very unsatisfying for readers. Bryan Hitch’s artwork remains solid and there is a widescreen gatefold that doesn’t really dazzle as much as the Marvel wants it to. The issue left me wondering why I bother with the title. Well, at least we have a different creative team for the next arc.