Wednesday, August 27, 2014

SPOILERS: Batman/Superman #13

After months of delays, fill-in issues and multiple repeat solicitations, the new story arc is finally, finally here. Now the question is, was it worth the wait?

The Spoilers:

Picking up where the last issue left off 37 years ago, Kaiyo is returning to our Earth, (I guess it's officially Earth-0 now?) and is met by Satanus who is all "What's up with you?" and in order to save her ass, Kaiyo offers him up the two blank slates that are a mind wiped Batman and Superman.

Superman ends up crashing into Gotham, naked for some reason, but whatever, no one is complaining, especially not Catwoman who comes across him, while being chased by the robots we saw in the first arc. Apparently that guy from five years ago is out of prison and trying to kill Catwoman now, and his name is Mangubat. Even without knowing who or what he is, Superman instinctively helps Catwoman out, and once she realizes who he is, she figures she can use that to her advantage.

Elsewhere, Batman ends up in crime alley, not naked, also unaware of who he is, and while he's all "Huh?" he gets attacked by Scarecrow. The good thing about having no memories? Fear gas doesn't do anything to you, so Scarecrow runs out of tricks pretty quickly. When Batman picks up a gun, Scarecrow sort of laughs to himself, but then Batman starts firing and off Scarecrow goes.

Bruce finds a mirror to look into and still doesn't recognize himself, but ends up activating the Batmobile, and ends up back at the cave, where Alfred, not knowing any better, guides him into a social event the manor is hosting.

Elsewhere, Lois Lane is headed into Gotham, on the phone with Mangubat, who wants to be interviewed, to clear his name, or so it seems... Actually, since Superman is after him, he just wants a human shield, and that's what he gets, but of course, Superman blasts through the train Lois is on. Lois screams for him to stop, and he eventually saves her, but it becomes clear he has no idea who she is, or who Superman is, which Catwoman finds hilarious.


The Review:

So, you know what the first thing I noticed was? Backgrounds! Sure, there's still plenty of those typical Jae Lee cloud backgrounds, but in some scenes there are bricks! and walls! With detail! Maybe that's what took so long? (I kid). But in all honesty, the book looks great, and I'm glad they didn't throw Batman into Metropolis, which probably would have been a more boring city for Lee to draw.

The story? Mind wipe stuff doesn't really do anything for me, and here it just makes things seem like it would be a story told in the old volume of Superman/Batman, aka a complete throwaway 99% of the time. That said, the inclusion of Lois and Catwoman is really what the arc is going to hinge on, and their reaction to Batman and Superman's current status could lead to some pretty entertaining moments. Then there is the Kaiyo stuff, and I'm just so bored on that already. Move on.

Finally, I still have such a problem with the way Pak writes Bruce. At this point, I think he just can't write him properly. Even with the mind-wipe, they're memories are gone, okay sure, but does that necessarily mean their core traits are gone? For Superman, it doesn't seem so. He acts and sounds like the way Pak usually writes him, which I'm fine with, just with no memories of who he is. Bruce on the other hand, while he gets into some instinctual physical reactions while fighting scarecrow, his voice and inner monologue is awful. "Oh boy," "Oh, hell yes!" "Pretty awesome." These all sound like something Tim Drake or Dick Grayson would say. The way Bruce's voice is written in this issue reminds me of the shitty mannerisms Ann Nocenti gave Selina in her god awful run on Catwoman. Sure, not as bad, but anything that reminds me of Nocenti's Catwoman isn't particularly pleasing to me. I'm sure the mind wipe is the key argument against my complaints, but the fact remains that Superman sounds pretty consistent, Batman does not, and it just is another annoyance of Batman being written poorly throughout this entire series.

The Bottom Line:

The start of this arc was entertaining enough, and I'm looking forward to seeing the interplay between Batman and Superman with Catwoman and Lois Lane, should be pretty fun. What I'm not looking forward to? More Kaiyo and more Pak written Bruce Wayne. Pretty even split for me on this issue, some good, some bad, let's just hope this arc wraps up before the end of the year.


  1. I agree with you that the voice of Bruce was off, but two other aspects of Bruce in this issue, his gun use and fear toxin becoming useless, were nice surprises. . . So 2 out of 3 ain't bad.

    1. Yeah, I failed to mention that I thought the fear gas twist was clever.