1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. So Batman and Catwoman along with Lex Luthor's crew of villains sneak onto the crashed Justice League satellite that is now the Crime Syndicate's headquarters. Batman and Luthor find Nightwing who's been tied to a nuclear bomb from Apokolips and the only way to disarm it is if Nightwing's heart stops beating. So despite Batman trying to stop him Luthor kills Nightwing. No real surprise there, Editor in Chief Dan Didio has long had it in for this character. So the Syndicate shows up and a big fight ensues in which Johnny Quick's leg gets blown off by Captain Cold. But then the identity of the mysterious hooded man from Earth 3 is revealed as he is set free. It's Alexander Luthor. OK, that makes sense, but then he says the magic word "MAZAHS!" and becomes some sort of Captain Marvel/Shazam analogue.
"Wait..what?" was pretty much my reaction to this little twist. Last issue I complained that while I was enjoying this event, it really felt like it had no moral theme. Now it really feels like it doesn't know what it's doing or where it's going at all. Let's put aside the whole killing Nightwing thing for a second. Sure I think it's a bad idea, but we all know it was Didio's doing and at this point Didio taking a piss on DC characters is so routine it's barely worth talking about. But why would the Luthor of that world be a Shazam analogue? Shazam is a good guy, so the Earth 3 version should be evil. That's the whole point of Earth 3, the dark symmetry kinda thing. Plus Shazam has nothing to do with Luthor. I mean he could have turned out to be like a good guy Earth 3 version of Doomsday or some other Superman villain. Sure this is an unexpected twist, but just because nobody saw it coming doesn't make it a good idea. If it would have been Elmer Fudd under that hood we all would have been surprised, doesn't mean it wouldn't have been stupid. This issue had some strong points, the fight scenes were fun and I really liked the banter between Batman and Luthor at the beginning of the issue, but still all and all this issue left a bad taste in my mouth.
Last issue Dr. Wily surrendered to the police and is apparently trying to claim that Ra Moon was behind all his crimes, and Mega Man, along with Dr. Light, Dr. Cossack, Dr. Astil, Roll, Rush, Plant Man and Pharaoh Man head down to South America the whole time. Right away we get a scene where an ancient trap almost takes out Mega Man.
And this issue also has a back up story featuring the origin of Mega Man X. The story goes that X was built by Dr Light towards the end of his life. Light gave X a far greater capacity for independent thought and choice than any of his previous robots and since thought he might be dangerous, and sealed him away until his moral reasoning programs could be tested to make sure he wouldn't go all Skynet on everybody. Flash forward 100 years and Dr. Cain finds X, activates him and constructs a whole series of robots based on X's designs called reploids. X wonders though if the world is really ready for all these independent robots and that's the end of part one.
This issue was fantastic. The first story was filled with so many great character moments for pretty much everyone involved. I've said for a while that this is the best all ages comic book out there right now, but more and more it's becoming my favorite comic book out there right now period. The Mega Man X story was pretty interesting, the little bit we saw so far, and the art for it is done the awesome Patrick Spaziante. I'm not all that familiar with Mega Man X, but I recently got the collection of the first six games for my PS2 in the series and have been playing though them. This back up story is set to lead into a Mega Man X Free Comic Book Day one shot and then a Mega Man/Mega Man X crossover story. I suspect X will be getting his own book announced by years end too.
So if you're not reading this book, you need to check it out.