Sorcerer Kings comes to an end
Superman/Batman #84: The Sorcerer Kings conclusion.
3.5 out of 5 stars
To the point:
I’ve enjoyed this entire storyline. Kryptonite is Superman’s obvious weakness, but long-time readers will know that magic is as well. This was a great storyline creating a distinct alternate DC world that came into existence when the Cabal forced the magic-users to reignite the sun with magic– the world changes and Superman, a solar battery, becomes an agent of magic (even sporting the epic Conan-esque sword) instead of withering in its presence.
This world is definitely one of the more layered of the Elseworlds, and honestly, far stronger and compelling than what I’ve seen so far of Flashpoint. This has been one of my complaints about DC– they’ve created some very far-reaching world scenarios and limited their scope to a single series and a few issues. I really hope they return to the Sorcerer Kings world and play around with it. I’m not going to wait though– the expected relaunch of the whole DC line leaves me to assume that great story-mines like this will stay untapped.
Great plotting, great pacing, simply well written. This is the type of issue that clearly defines the skill needed in a great comic book writer versus a novelist or screen writer. The final four pages have Clark blazing through the portal and using all of his stored magical energy in one final leap . . . his barely audible, and greatly done as the only word on the entire page, of “abracadabra” delivered a page of pure motion! Cullen Bunn is a writer I haven’t paid much attention to in the past but definitely will now. He handles so many different layers well and deftly inserts references to those deeply schooled in DC magic trivia.
Not sure what happened in the art processing, but there is a very weird error in the dot screening on the cover. It looks poorly cut and poorly applied. The final cover looks dirty. It definitely does not match the interior art.
My only other complaint is that the solution to the world takeover invokes the cliched go back in the past to the moment of need and solve it then as if didn’t happen. It’s an easy out. There should be a law against its use in any story.
A Designer’s Perspective:
The layout is simple and doesn’t really branch into anything unique with one exception. However, Firestorm’s very magical redesign was a great piece of work. There is a definite blending of the past logo/costume design and there is an unmistakable magical air to the appearance. Astounding design principles– this is a Firestorm that is far more compelling than anything appearing in the regular DC line and its only because of two pages of art featuring a radical design.