Batman/Superman 1 Review Shooter

Writer: Greg Pak
Artist: Jae Lee and Ben Oliver

Superman/Batman was one of the more interesting series before the launch of the New 52. It took DC’s two most iconic characters and teamed them up in both stories from continuities and wild adventures just outside of it.  One of the most enduring qualities of the series though was the dual internal monologues of both characters. Generally to show that they weren’t very different as much as their outwardly appearance may be.

Colored me surprised to see that aspect actually return in the recently launched Batman Superman series in the new 52. It makes an interesting return though as we meet Batman (Bruce Wayne) and Superman (Clark Kent) before they really know each other in this new continuity so their dual monologues are related, but generally not related to each other.

Like I just mentioned, this issue deals with an early meeting between Batman and Superman, but also Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne. It’s a fun introduction to the characters as we get to see Clark Kent as an actual reporter (something I feel we don’t get enough of) as he tracks down Bruce Wayne when members of Wayne Enterprise are being murdered in Metropolis. We meet Wayne.. well while he is pretending to be a hobo in a park about to watch some kid get his ass kicked. It tells you everything you need to know there really.

The next time we see them, they are donning the costumes.. and this bit confused me. It seems to be the first meeting between Superman and Batman, but I thought we saw that happen in the initial Justice League arc of the new 52. It has been a while since I’ve read that, and maybe forgetting the reasoning for Superman attacking everyone then.

There is one neat aspect of this, and I feel a partial throwback to New Frontier. Batman’s whole motif works in regards to scaring villains and criminals, but there’s nothing from stopping that to spill over to those he is trying to protect. Part of the reason he is attacked by Superman is Superman finds the civilians he was trying to assist in a frightened state and assumed Batman was the murderer… common mix-up!

The story then takes an odd twist, and not 100% sure what is happening but it is a hook. Though, it does one of those things that can go so wrong so often. During the back-half of the issue, the artist change which means the art style changes. Generally, not a huge fan of that as it can be a bit jarring, but it worked here because it was helped by the story they were trying to tell. It was extremely clever and a great way to visually differentiate what had happened.

That was Ben Oliver’s contribution, and it’s good work. But the bulk of the art in this book is done by Jae Lee, and it’s a very interesting style. It isn’t necessarily a superheroic style (clean, muscular figures), but it works in the context of this book. It’s bit dirty and lively and it just tickles my mind seeing something so different for our two leads. I’m curious to see where the rest of his art goes.

Review 6 (out of 7) Batman/Superman 1 was a fun return to the dynamics of the original series with an intriguing story between Batman and Superman’s past and present. I think that the issue gives you a fair amount of content, but doesn’t give a lot of context for the final 3rd of the issue. It works in setting up a hook, but also left me a bit confused.

The art is a pleasure to the eyes and I even took the switch of artists as something good for once. It’s worth jumping in now.

Earl Rufus

The owner of this little chunk of the internet. Enjoys having a good time and being rather snarky!

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