Recommended: Superman / Batman
October 8, 2008

One of my current favorite books is  Superman/Batman. The concept seems like a no brainer.  Put DCs top 2 characters in the same book.  Its been done before.  When I was younger, the same concept was called "Worlds Finest."  Sometimes an idea is so good it strikes gold twice.

So what sells this book to me on a monthly basis?  One thing is constant contrast between their perspectives on every situation.  Word ballons may exist rarely, but thought boxes are continuous.  The scope is never just the two heroes, but their interaction with the larger DC Universe.  And every story is an epic, worthy of a full movie from Hollywood.  Let us begin.

1-6. A giant kryptonite meteor is hurtling toward Earth. President Lex Luthor blames Superman, declaring Supes and Batman by association public enemy number one, and assembles a team of powered characters to take them down led by Capt Atom.  Supes & Bats head to Washington to confront Luthor.  A ton of enterprising villains attempt to take out our Worlds Finest to claim the bounty on their heads.  Mr. Terrific of the JSA sends Capt Marvel and Hawkman to capture Supes & Bats before things get out of hand.  The Super family and Bat family of heroes storm the White House only to be captured.  Hawkman and Capt Marvel arrive to free them.  They are actually Supes and Bats in disguise.  Lex goes nuts and puts on his power suit.  Lex is removed from office.  Bruce buys some fo LexCorp.  And that is just the first story.

7-13.  The Kryptonite meteor turns out to contain Superman’s cousin Supergirl.  Wonder Woman is brought in to ‘supervise her’.  Darksied steals Supergirl and turns her evil.  The heroes get her back and turn her good again.

14-18. History has changed.  Superman and Batman are in charge of the world.  They have been raised by Cosmic King, Saturn Queen, and Lightning Lord from the future.  Kamandi, and the entire Legion of SuperHeroes shows up.

19. Serves as a lead into the Supergirl solo book of which I also recommend the first 5 issues.

20-25.  Superman and Batman find themselves in an odd reality where they fight variations of Marvels Avengers/Ultimates.  This turns out to have ties back to Superman:Emperor Joker.  Liked the series so much at this poitn that I went out and bought this in trade paperback.

At this point, the writer and artist team changed, but the stories continue to be in the plus column.  Aliens.  Darkseid.  Search for Kryptonite.  Maybe I’ll cover more in a later column.

  

Credit for the comic covers in this article goes to: The Grand Comic Book Database. http://www.comics.org/index.lasso

TAGS:
Erik "Superfriend" Skov
"Gathered together from the four corners of the universe." Oh, wait, that's the show, not me. Erik "SuperFriend" Skov never actually got to appear on the show, although he did watch it every week. Erik spent 6 years working for Hasbro in Pawtucket, RI before leaving for a job that paid more (Why else would a collector leave the company that was making Star Wars, Transformers, and while I was there Batman). I used to post all over the net. These days I tend to hang my hat at AFI.
Read other articles by Erik "Superfriend" Skov.

 

 

 

5 Comments »

  • DanMan says:

    This is one where the early issues sold out so fast that I never got on board. I need to pick up the trades on this sometime soon!

  • Erik superfriend says:

    For trade paperbacks, I’d suggest starting with “Public Enemies” which covers issues 1-6. Not sure what the others are, but 1-26, Supergirl 1-5 and Superman:”Emperor Joker” are all by the same writer and do tie together nicely.

  • Lt. Clutch says:

    Agreed, SF. A friend sent me the issue where Superman is affected by Kryptonite and starts acting like a little kid with a weird Manga-ish perspective of the JLA, while Batman risks his life once again for his old friend.

    There’s also a reveal of sorts: Batman has always had feelings for Zatanna. It read like a great episode of JLU, and the art was superb as well.

    As a fan of the old World’s Finest Comics, I highly enjoyed this modern update of the classic Superman-Batman team-up book.

  • Arsenio3 says:

    I just got the 3 TPB (I have the first one too), partially because of SF’s recommendation (partially because Pacheo knocks my socks off). It was pretty good, though it’s tough to believe that it’s in-continuity. And the some of their actions seemed really out of character. But it was good comic book fun.

  • Erik superfriend says:

    Continuity can be a tricky master. And only really rears its head when one story contradicts another. Otherwise, any story is valid. That said, there are a few important DCU plot points in this series.

    a. #6. Lex’s Presidency ends and he takes up wearing the armored suit seen in later stories such as JLoA 13-15.

    b. #8. Modern Supergirl is introduced. This is billed as part of Didio’s “back to the basics that people expect” plan. Supergirl once again is the cousin of Superman from Krypton.

    There may be others.

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