Wednesday, June 26, 2013

SPOILERS: Batman/Superman #1

Some years ago, a young Clark Kent enters Gotham City (which he holds about the least amount of regard for possible) in search for an interview with Bruce Wayne. Bruce seems to be in that period of his life where he doesn't want anyone to know he's alive, looking like complete shit, and watching on a park bench, as a young kid of a Middle East descent gets picked on, until Clark steps in. Clark then turns his attention to Bruce, who is surprised to be identified, asking if he has any comment on the recent murders of Wayne Enterprises employees in Metropolis. Although Bruce eventually admits to being himself, he has no comment other than pointing out to Clark that Gotham is quite different than Metropolis.

Naturally, Bruce goes to Metropolis to investigate, where he finds a not herself Catwoman attacking the one Wayne Enterprises employee who refused to relocate for the night. Selina barely reacts to any of Bruce's attacks, acting as if she was possessed. The target of the would be execution manages to scramble around his apartment and activate some experimental Wayne Tech security robots he shouldn't have... Or at least attempts to, but Bruce takes the controls, and orders them to apprehend Catwoman.

At this point, Superman shows up, and with everyone being generally unfamiliar with each other, all hell breaks loose, as Bruce and Clark start to fight... Well, Bruce mostly just tries to avoid, best he can. The fight leaves the man's apartment, and while Bruce and Clark are separated for a moment, a spirit looking being manifests out of Catwoman, seemingly pleased with the fight at hand. When Bruce and Clark charge at each other, the impact is met with a very specific "BOOM" and the next thing Clark knows, he's in Smallville.

Clark ends up on the ground, and finds Batman again, only this time Batman calls him by name, has a different costume, and doesn't seem all too interested on continuing the fight... To just clear up everything, it's because Clark is now on Earth 2, and this is the Batman of that Earth. Clark, not knowing any different, just continues to fight, but is stopped in his tracks when Batman brings up a kryptonite shield around him.

Clark manages to discard of the small piece of kryptonite Batman had on him, and while Batman thinks Clark is settled down... not so much, and the beating continues for real this time... That is until Jonathan Kent shows up, horrified in his son's (from another Earth) actions.


The Good:

First of all, the art, just spectacular, both Jae Lee and Ben Oliver. Both have somewhat minimalist styles (more so Lee, who relies on heavy atmosphere) which mixed pretty well together. But saying a Jae Lee book looks good, is like saying the sky is going to be blue tomorrow, the real question was how the writing was going to turn out. I think it's safe to say that Greg Pak pretty much nailed it, both Bruce and Clark's voices are familiar, but a little rough around the edges, as you may expect with their younger age. What Pak does really well is contrast the two voices, and really highlighting just how different Bruce and Clark's dispositions really are. Finally, just the general "WTF" factor of what's going on makes for quite the compelling read.

The Bad:

Little disappointed that Jae Lee didn't do a full issue (even by regular size standards, clocking in a page shy of 20), despite my being a fan of Ben Oliver. Even with the two artists, the book's page count doesn't quite reach the 28 pages $3.99 DC books usually do, and instead they do the "here's all the extras" thing to fill out the rest (which I'll note, included the variant images, which digital books usually do anyways). That being said, on the switch itself, at least it changed in a good spot within the story, right when it transitioned to Earth 2.

The Bottom Line:

Yeah, I would have preferred Lee do a complete issue, but given the quality of the second artist, it's hard to hold that agains the title, especially when it started out so strong. In a recent market where most of DC's recent launches are struggling to get footing, this issue definitely steps in as a shining light of hope. Even though the book is relying on two of the safest bet characters in the industry, it does so masterfully, and with an interesting, compelling story to back it up. I'm sold, and you should be too.



  1. Great issue. I'm a little confused though. I thought the Batman of Earth 2 died back in Earth 2 #1 (July 2012) by James Robinson?

    1. It takes place before they die?

    2. Considering this happens before Darkseid's attack on Earth in the first Justice League arc, which was concurrent with the Apokolips invasion of Earth 2, it makes sense for the Earth 2 Batman and Superman to be still alive.

    3. It should, the story takes place the five years before the Justice League formed. It probably means that it has been five years in the Earth 2's timeline.

    4. OMG, I just realized something that relates to this. Okay, since this story takes place before the Apokolips attacks of the main Earth and Earth 2, what if the thing possessing Catwoman is Darkseid's missing daughter? It would explain the BOOM tube. And since she's left her mark on both worlds, Darkseid must have tracked her and that's the reason there were concurrent invasions.

      Did I just blow anyone's mind? lol

    5. I don't think Trickster is going to be Darkseid's daughter who is currently locked up. I mean, there's a chance, but I feel like thats Geoff Johns' story to tell.