So, I had myself quite the time earlier:
Superman: Volume 1: Son of Superman
So one Superman died but another was around to replace? Yep, this is the kind of thing that should have killed this book on take-off, but it doesn't because Tomasi holds a masterclass in how to get your readers up to speed and to the point where he needs them to be for the story to kick off. That's what the Rebirth book was aimed at and it succeeded.
The next six issues are a different masterclass in how to start small then go big, but without losing the heart of the story along the way. It starts quiet enough, with Superman now having a kid, who in turn is learning how to use his powers, sometimes inadvertently, like the time he fried the cat. And yes, he was not in a good way after that. A story of superpower practice and mystery injuries leads them to the now dead Superman's Fortress of Solitude, where the Eradicator turns up and things get more than a little heated.
What follows is Superman giving the Eradicator the benefit of the doubt, who explains it operates on a General Zod created protocols - yep, red flag right there - then tries to "improve" SuperKid. What kicks off from this point to the end of the volume is a four-issue superbrawl for the ages that concludes on the Moon, wrecks a moon-based Batcave, Lois uses Bat-Armour to smack the Eradicator around before Superman and son put it down for good.
It's hard to saw why this works so very well, except that it really, really does.
It so happens I have Volume 2 on order.
Batman: Volume 1: I Am Gotham
So, this is where Mr King shows me why he's so good after the misfire of Sheriff of Babylon. It's quite interesting how King has made Batman avoid being Batcrap, he's more at ease with how he operates, there's less of the Bat-darkness here. Similarly it both breaks and upholds convention quite well, first by having a pair of superpowers show up and ask Batman to train them, before they both get sent loopy by Psycho-Pirate, so creating the big fight that was expected at the start.
Finch's art was good but more important the story gets the balance right between the darker and idealistic aspects of Batman and Gotham.
Detective Comics: Volume 1: Rise of the Batmen
Wow, I enjoyed Tynion IV's contributions to Batman Eternal but in the couple of years since he's gotten far, far better. This is a superb example of how to create an ensemble, while throwing a surprise or two into the mix - namely Azrael and Clayface. Yeah, don't think anyone saw the latter coming.
More impressive is the seven-issue arc that he spins, involving a host of characters, betrayals, crazy action sequences and one hell of a finale that's going to be very interesting to see the consequences of play out.
Art was a combination of artists with complimentary styles which was very effective.
Batman: Night of the Monster Men
Crossover? Already? Well, OK then. It is fair to say this story has but one purpose: Wrap up the Hugo Strange plot that started running in Batman. In that respect, it succeeds well enough.
In other respects it can't really match the first volumes of Batman and Detective Comics on either the art or writing elements. What we get is OK, but what was delivered in the other books first trades was superb - so, yes, this comes off as weaker.
I wouldn't class it as bad, well not at the price I got it for, but it's no match for its more illustrious predecessors.