Batman/Superman Volume 3 Second Chance Review

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I said that there wouldn’t be another DC comic review for a bit, but I completely forgot that I had checked this one out. The Batman/Superman series in the New 52 always looked intriguing, but not necessarily in a good way. I really didn’t like the art in the first volume and I always stayed away from the series. It struck me as a random/non canon event that just didn’t look very entertaining. Surprisingly, it seems to actually be treated as canon. This volume actually ended up being pretty good even if it could have been better.

The first few issues are main stand alone stories until the arc begins. One story takes place during the Doomed event as Superman has been infected with the Doomsday virus. Batman, Steel, and Wonder Woman head to the Fortress of Solitude to look for a cure when they find out that Superman’s villains have managed to modify the Phantom Zone and they can actually deal real damage now. Taking them down will be tricky for the three heroes!

Another story had Batman get sick as a microscopic hero died inside of his blood stream and was poisoning him. Superman decided to go along with the Atom inside of Batman to fight off the intruders. Unfortunately, one of the men got past them so a weakened Batman had to deal with him. This was probably the most action packed of the stories and my personal favorite of the adventures. We got a lot of Batman hype and Superman also did a good job during the fight.

Next was the big arc where a cosmic being decided to mess around with Batman and Superman. She decided to get rid of their memories and throw them back onto Earth to see how they reacted. Another cosmic being who rules the dark part of the DC universe captured her, but decided to let the whole situation play out since it was very amusing for him. Batman became a happier version of himself while Superman became the dictator that everyone expected him to be. Yup..another evil Superman story!

Still, it was handled much better than the average one would be. Superman certainly lost his qualms about actually injuring people and destroying them, but he actually felt like a realistic version of himself despite that. If Superman was not a hero, but did whatever he wanted, then this could look a little like how it should. With Catwoman as a bad influence on him, it makes sense that he would make quite a few mistakes and at least he started out by trying to help her fight off giant machines.

Meanwhile, it was probably a little tougher for Batman although his plot was more enjoyable on the whole. He decided that he did want to be a hero, but he’d do it his way. Since he was no longer burdened by the murder of his parents, Batman took on crime with a smile. He even teamed up with Lois Lane for the climax as she became the new Bat Girl. The only unfortunate part was that his Bruce Wayne side kicked in and he actually hung out with the mayor’s wife. That part was really unnecessary and definitely didn’t add anything to the adventure.

One of the weaknesses for the comic was certainly the art. As mentioned earlier, I thought that the artwork for the Atom comic was actually pretty good for the most part although a lot of the faces would be out of proportion and even funny to look at sometimes. The story arc part mainly just had problems with trying to look too live action esque. Similar to the Kingdom Come event from way back when. It just doesn’t work so well for the action scenes and a more cartoony/colorful look just works better. It’s why I like the vibrant style of the New 52 comics so much.

I do find it funny how Batman and Superman are probably portrayed better here than in just about any other New 52 comic that I’ve seen. Superman Unchained is even better if we choose to count that, but otherwise, this was impressive. Even considering that Batman and Superman lost their memories, they were pretty good. Ignoring that one regrettable Batman scene, his new persona was decent and before that he looked perfect. He was able to take on a super villain while barely conscious and at less than half power. Superman looked as heroic as he should and this could have even felt like the Pre 52 hero that we’ve always loved.

The collection was a tad light on action, but we did get a Mongul fight, the Atom battles, and the arc had some battles against the mechs that were after Catwoman. That’s all right though since the writing was pretty good and the comic was interesting. Being interesting is one of the most important parts in a comic collection after all and this one certainly had my attention. Perhaps I’ll check some other Batman/Superman comics at some point. If this series is not currently ongoing, DC needs to add another one since the Batman and Superman team up stories are always a lot of fun. I can’t think of a single pair of superheroes who are more interesting and fun to read about.

As far as plot hax goes, this comic was pretty good. There’s only one part that is guilty of it and that’s the whole plot of the arc. I still say that Superman cannot be mind controlled no matter who is doing it! I have to say that the evil monster who rules everything looked pretty good and that was one time where the gritty art worked quite well. He felt extremely evil and ominous. I don’t recognize the character, but he could make for a great mastermind even if it does seem like he may end up being a little overpowered. I’ll be interested in seeing how his plot continues.

Overall, this comic was a success. It’s too bad that Krypto got poisoned by Superman, but luckily he still held his own as he took down the villains and it was handled as well as that could be handled. The mayor’s wife moments were not handled well though and while Catwoman looked a lot better than usual, I also wouldn’t have minded if she was not here. Although, I like how Superman saw through her attempt to frame Lois Lane immediately even if he didn’t have his memories back. That’s how these things should always go. Between the art and everything else, I’m slightly keeping this comic from the standard 7, but I still recommend it if you’re looking for a good Batman/Superman story. The writing is good and the characters are in character which is always a good thing. Steel and Wonder Woman make for nice guest stars as well and they get their moment to shine. Now, it’s going to be time for a Marvel comic review next!

Overall 6/10

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Superman Krypton Returns Review

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It’s time to look at yet another Superman comic! I have to say that I feel a little bad for the casual comic enthusiast who may be trying to keep up with the Superman trades. DC certainly didn’t make it easy as you have the Superman Action Comic volumes, Superman volumes, and then the unnumbered Superman volumes like this one and Doomed. It makes it kind of tricky for fans to know when they all take place. This one only has 1 actual Superman issue along with a .3 in there somewhere, a few zero issues, and then issues from the other members of the Super family. I guess you could say that this is actually Superman volume 4.5. We temporarily get a break from the Psy War plot, which is certainly a good thing!

Superman was just minding his own business when he bumps into Supergirl and Superboy in space. For reasons unknown to them, they have been summoned to that area! After a little wondering, a cosmic being appears and his herald lets the heroes know that H’el has begun his latest assault on the universe. If he succeeds, everything dies! Each hero is given a task to complete to save the timestream. Superboy must go to the past and make sure that Supergirl gets onto the rocket. Supergirl must defeat the clones in one of the battles of Krypton’s past. Finally, Superman needs to make sure that Krypton actually blows up since H’el wants to stop that! It’s a race against time, but the heroes are ready!

Unlike the first arc where H’el showed up, this is a very small event. It’s so small that technically, the heroes aren’t even on screen together for almost the entire adventure. I thought that was a bit of a cop-out as some more team fights would have been a lot of fun. Each comic is a stand alone adventure for the heroes like in the classic DC/Marvel comics of old, but there are some cutaways so they aren’t completely isolated.

Before the plot began though, we got to see the 0 issues for Superman, Superboy, Supergirl, and H’el. It’s interesting because I’d already read Superman’s and Supergirl’s in the past thanks to their respective collections, but Superboy and H’el’s were new. Origin stories are always intriguing. The Superboy one definitely had some interesting plot points that would probably come into play in his series. The main villain certainly has a cool design at any rate. It’s also neat how Superman’s actually foreshadowed an event that happened in this collection as he witnessed Krypton explode in person. It’s impressive since the issue came out way before this arc began.

H’el’s is a little tragic for the character even if he seriously overreacted. It turns out that everything he has ever known was basically fake so his life was a lie. Now, he doesn’t want to save Krypton so much as he just wants to rule it and destroy everyone who gets in his way. Any sense of heroism is gone now and only the villain remains. He looks a lot weaker than he was in hte original event, which is a good thing since the fights won’t be so lopsided now. He didn’t really get to fight anyone though so it’s hard to say if his true ability was really lowered or not, but that’s just how it goes.

Supergirl’s adventure was likely the most straight forward. As she was under a red sun, she needed to use her hand to hand moves to defeat the clones. She does know some close combat skills thanks to an old friend of hers so she manages to hold her own. After that, she has a quick rematch with H’el as he tries to fight the heroes across time and space. The issue was good although I wish that she had maintained her super abilities since a high speed fight with H’el would have been cool.

Superboy’s issue was surprisingly the best one as it easily had the most action. He got to fight the actual essence of Krypton when it wanted to explode. It turns out in a neat twist that all planets have a hidden life form that makes sure that the planet will die when it is supposed too. It’s one of those random things that will likely never be mentioned again, but this also gave Superboy a good opponent to fight so I am certainly fine with that. The design for the villain was cool and Superboy even got to get along with Supergirl for a change. Their rivalry is certainly very intense on Earth so their’s no shot of getting along there.

Still, they put aside their differences when necessary. I like all three of the Super characters and I assume that they can patch things up eventually. As for the Superman story, not much happened there for a while, but eventually he got to meet up with H’el and have a fight. Granted, H’el was super weakened from fighting Superboy and Supergirl while also having most of his body melt thanks to Superman’s father, but Superman still took a decisive victory in this match. It was a decent climax and while H’el’s end in the first arc was probably better for him as a character, at least this one cemented him as a villain.

As expected, the art is solid. The weakest issue in that regard would likely be Superman 0, but they’re all quite good and live up to DC’s strong reputation for having well drawn comics. The fight scenes are good and the character models stand out as usual. The art would have likely been even more impressive if the collection had only had some more action. Alas, it was simply not to be!

As for the writing, it’s certainly a step up over the last two Superman volumes. This time, Superman actually acts like his typical heroic self for the most part. Even at the very end of the comic where his father tries to destroy H’el, Superman quickly stops him. Destroying the guy simply isn’t right and Superman took a stand. That being said, Superman’s father actually managing to get into space and go across the timelines was a little iffy. I think that the comic went a little too far trying to show how much of a genius he was in that scene. It’s also very intriguing that he would create H’el in the first place as it seems a little out of character to do such morally dubious acts.

If there’s just one issue that I had with this event, it’s that it just felt like filler. I feel like DC only half heartedly brought H’el back and just used him as a time waster. As I explained earlier, it doesn’t feel like much of an event because of how isolated all of the heroes were. Some plot elements also feel random like Superman’s father arriving and Superboy fighting the essence of Krypton. As a result, the collection was also decently light on the action angle. I think that a few more issues for the event would have helped it out a lot. As it stands, half of the collection was made up of origin issues.

Overall, Krypton Returns is still a fun collection. It’s certainly a big step up from the last Superman volume that I read! The action scenes that we got here were much better than the Psy War’s and the writing has also improved. It’s always nice to see Supergirl and Superboy as well. Especially Superboy as I never see him anywhere else and he seems like a fairly good character in the New 52. I prefer this streamlined version to his Young Justice counterpart. H’el was not as impressive as last time, but that’s probably a good thing. Maybe he will return again someday and the cosmic being will have to call Superman to action. If so, I’ll be ready for that! I’m afraid that the Superman reviews will likely stop here for a while, but no worries. Soon I shall have a Marvel one up to counter this! If you’re a comic fan who likes some action, then I definitely recommend this trade paperback to you!

Overall 7/10

Superman Volume 4 Psi War Review

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It’s time to take a look at volume 4 of the Superman series. Unfortunately, it ended up being the weakest one yet and a sign that the series needs to improve and fast. When you have Superman as the main character of a collection, it should be nothing short of amazing! Instead, the poor writing and uninteresting plot just take you away from the adventure.

As the title suggests, there is a Psi War going on between two of the villains. Hector Hammond is duking it out with the Hive Queen as they both want control over all of the humans. Hammond decides to play his trump card by hiding himself inside of Superman while messing around with all of his friends. With everyone acting a little crazy, Superman is not sure of what to do. This is one battle that he can’t punch his way out of. Oh yeah, the Psycho Pirate is also on the loose and he’s the toughest baddie yet!

One of the shining lights that still glimmers through this volume was that the art quality stayed as sharp as ever. The New 52’s always been good with that and I’m glad since the rest of the volume was woefully average to below average at times. Let’s start with the writing as that was one of the issues here. Granted, Hammond and the other telepathy users are making everyone a little crazy, but the lines still come across as off. For example, Superman tells Orion “You can tell me now or through a straw in intensive care!” as he punches the guy. The sad thing is that this isn’t out of character for New 52 Superman, but it’s still one of the issues that I have with the character. Jimmy’s asks Wonder Woman if she could have his babies when they first met and it was a terrible moment. There are sad lines scattered throughout the comic and they could certainly prove to be distracting.

This collection also had one of those generic bath scenes that are always sad and unnecessary. It’s certainly not the way to go to make the villain seem more threatening. The main problem though is the villains. None of them can actually fight so the collection is filled with mind control shenanigans and I still believe that Superman should be completely immune to such techniques given his genius intellect as well as his Kryptonian Strength. I’ll never buy into the “Superman can be mind controlled” theory.

At least one comic gave us a real fight thanks to the appearance of Orion! He arrived to destroy Superman because the hero might bring about the destruction of everything. The poor guy just didn’t realize that he never stood a chance against the Man of Steel! The fight is brief and doesn’t get to end, but I was happy just to see a good punch thrown against someone who could take it! I’m definitely not much of a fan of Orion here so his appearance didn’t do the character any favors. At least Superman got his telepathic resistance up a little thanks to Orion’s tech.

One subplot that’s still entertaining is how Clark Kent has been roped into helping out on a website that an ex employee of the Planet started. Clark’s been pretty aloof and cold to her even though she’s been trying to help out a lot, but he’s finally trying to help with the story. While I wouldn’t trust her and think that this is all some kind of elaborate ruse, it’s good to see him actually helping out with it now.

I kind of skimmed over talking about the villains earlier, but they simply aren’t that good. Hammond is basically a ripoff of Modok. He has a huge head and telepathic powers, but he can’t really move so his followers have to actually lift him up. There’s really not much to like about this guy and I only enjoyed the banter between him and the Queen at times as they keep creating illusions into each other’s mind. That was certainly an interesting concept, but you can only tackle it for so long before it gets old. The Queen’s only notable feature was the fact that her true form looks like the Brood. That was definitely pretty neat and certainly a welcome twist. Beyond that, she was fairly generic.

The Psycho Pirate was certainly much better than those two villains. At the very least, he had a decent backstory and his powers were far greater than theirs. See, experiments had been done on about 100 people by Brainiac, which gave them all telepathy thanks to their newfound mental capabilities. While some used their abilities to help reporters like Lois get a story, others used their powers to try and take control of the situation. The Psycho Pirate is one such guy and he even managed to take out Superman. Naturally, the power went to his head and he turned evil, but at least he was a cool villain.

Lois got a super form out of this as the telepathy transferred to her, which was neat. It came at the expense of her future so it may not have been a big deal, but this is Lois, so Superman won’t let her die. It’s been a while since Lois had anything to do related so reporting so this subplot was neat to have. It wasn’t terribly interesting, but hearing about how the telepathic people infiltrated the world was definitely cool.

Really, it all boils down to the fact that I just wasn’t a fan of this arc. I suppose that it can happen to the best of series, but it will definitely be a bad sign if the next volume is also sub par. I may be getting that at some point in the near future provided it’s up to snuff! (Talking about Superman volume 5 as 4 is mainly a tie in event) I also hope that Superman starts to look a little more like the good ole hero that he used to be!

Overall, Psi War was more of a flop than I had anticipated. Still, despite all of the negativity, I wouldn’t actually call it a bad comic. It’s just bad by Superman standards, but I’ll still keep it away from the negative ranks. Superman and his pals are still interesting even if some of them are out of character. The art is still good and the fight with Orion was fun. We just need the writing to pick up the pace a little and then everything will be all right again. Also, where’s Lex in all of this? Until then, you can expect another DC comic review soon!

Overall 5/10

Scooby Doo vs Lois Lane


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Scooby Doo is a guy who’s always ready to solve the case if there are enough Scooby Snacks, but not even those can help him to win this battle. Lois Lane is just too powerful and one good punch is all that she will need to win this round. Scooby Doo just won’t be able to keep up with her. Lois Lane wins.

Lois Lane vs Ben 10


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Ben 10 has a lot of different forms to turn into, but Lois Lane once obtained the powers of Superman! I don’t think that she would lose in this round. Ben 10’s flame abilities can be deadly, but he doesn’t have enough defense to endure those kind of attacks for long. Lois Lane wins.

Batman vs Lois Lane


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Lois Lane is back and she’s up against Batman. She did get super strength and flight, not to mention speed. So this is actually a closer fight than one may think. The only problem for her is that Batman has all of those abilities and more. Defeating him is next to impossible for most! Batman wins.

Mary Jane vs Lois Lane



Mary Jane may have spider powers, but Lois Lane has superman’s powers and with them scores easy wins against many opponents. They just didn’t have a chance against Super Speed, Super Strength, and ultimate defense. Mary Jane drops down the ranks with this loss, while Lois rises some spots up the blogging ranks. Lois Lane wins.

Lois Lane vs Anguirus




Lois Lane is back. Anguirus is pretty tough, but he’s never been quite as powerful as Lois Lane. Lois Lane has the powers of Superman and could defeat Anguirus in one punch. Anguirus is a tough monster and will be back, but getting wins can be hard. Lois Lane rises up the blog ranks. Lois Lane wins.

Superman vs Lois Lane



Superman is a being of such power he is even compared to Goku. I wouldn’t go that far, but he is pretty tough. Lois Lane may not be as tough, but she temporarily got powers that could be compared to Superman’s. In the end Superman has more experience and has been fighting crime since Lois Lane was a reporter. Superman has also prospered in his identity as Clark Kent, reporter for the Daily Planet. His undercover work was so good, but not too many found out his secret identity. Superman wins.