Story: Tom Taylor
Art: Daniel Sampere
Colors: Rex Lokus
Letterer: Wes Abbott
What They Say:
Plastic Man enters the Phantom Zone in search of the exiled Titans, but he finds much more than he bargained for.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The journey within the Fortress of Solitude has been a lot of fun so far since the previous issue delivered a lot of good dialogue and enhancing bits, notably about how the Kents and Alfred used to talk about their boys a lot. While I enjoy the larger arcs that Tom Taylor puts together for this series it’s his use of character through small pieces like that which makes me really love his work. It’s the humanizing elements that feel effortless and real, unforced. This issue sees the return of Daniel Sampere on the art duties and that’s definitely a welcome thing as well as there’s a lot to like as we get some fun characters for him in the Phantom Zone to illustrate. With a more barren approach to the place it allows for a bit more time spent on the character side.
The majority of this installment takes place within the Phantom Zone as Plas, anchored by Luke on the outside, seeks to find the Titans in there. It’s a big issue for Plas since that means we get his color commentary with it all as he moves through the barren wilderness and floating rocks while trying to find where the gang are. Naturally, there are lots of prisoners in there as well and we get some amusement out of Imperiex giving him directions to find the others, noting with how to figure out if he’s gone too far. The Phantom Zone in general is a kind of weird space so playing it minimal like this works even if you kind of get frustrated in trying to think how it would operate long term for those that are actually stuck inside it. Thankfully, it doesn’t take long to actually find the group and delve into what’s going on there.
Naturally, there are complications. While they’re able to get Robin, Starfire, and Wonder Girl out of there, Superboy is stuck since his being in there is all that’s keeping him alive. It’s something that Tim and the rest are intent on fixing, even if he’s not keen on them coming back, but it reinforces the bonds of the time well as they make their way back out. Less smart is the group as a whole not listening to Plas after they’re out as something is coming through that they didn’t plan on. But the bits we get before that is great with the group learning that they’ve been stuck in there for six years and that Bruce is very glad to have Tim, and a Robin, back in the picture. It’s small moments like that which go a long way in really fleshing things out and making it feel like they have connections that go back a long ways.
The surprise arrival at the end has me grinning at what a potential plot twist is in the wings coming up for the fight in general. But before all of that we get some good time with the surviving members of the Titans and what they’ve had to deal with as well as some brief but important reconnect moments. It’s pretty much free of action but Daniel Sampere gets to move us through the Phantom Zone in a fun way and shows us the first of some of these characters in years, which is well presented in term sof showing the bond and connection – and love – that they have for each other. I’m definitely eager to see what’s next considering what’s introduced here.
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: DC Comics via ComiXology
Release Date: December 19th, 2017