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!