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It is not often that you get a book that does both “insanely humorous” and “meaningful undertone” within the same covers. On the advice of a friend, I picked up Superman/Batman #46, and I loved it.

Now, I’ll admit from the get-go here, I’m not the world’s biggest Superman fan. I find him boring and predictable. At least, while reading something like Batman, I can sit there going; “OK, I know he’s ‘Batman’, but something still could happen to him.”

With Superman, it’s either magic or kryptonite, and even then all the villains are idiots.
supermanbatman46.jpgSuperman/Batman #46
Written by Michael Green and Mike Johnson
Art and cover by Shane Davis and Matt Banning

Well the current run of Superman/Batman issues are actually dealing with the latter, kryptonite, and destroying the world’s supply of it. Now this seems to me to be one of those story-killers, where you’ll end up with Superman being even more powerful than before. However, with luck, another asteroid should plummet to Earth in the next year or so and re populate our planet with enough strength-sapping rocks to keep the Superman franchise going for another 50 years.

Yes, I’m cynical, but it seems to me to be one of those times where the writers have created a character that can’t be beaten; and I dislike those characters.

Granted, Superman has that whole other boy-scout-leadery image that provides for his appearance still being a boost to the story; but put him in a series by himself and it is boring time. Thankfully – and I’ll get to my point now – this is not the case with these books. He has the epitome of an antithesis running round with him all the time; Batman.

This issue continues the pairs desire to rid the world of kryptonite, but in doing so reveals to us a new type of kryptonite; silver. And the effects of this one allow for hilarity to ensue! In short, Superman get’s high!

There is nothing quite as amusing as seeing Superman viewing his JLA friends as cartoons – and by that, I mean the Saturday-morning cartoon-style cartoons that we all grew up on. Best, is that while all around him there are people making faces or with big cheesy grins, there stands Batman, as cartoony as the rest of them, but with a frown that could curdle milk.

Over the next few pages we get to see Superman enjoying his own munchies food – cereal – playing video games and threatening to visit North Dakota for brownies.

Now I mentioned at the top “insanely humorous” but “meaningful undertone” as well. For me, this comic grabbed my attention with the second half of the storyline, and the second description.

Apparently at some point we found out that Batman and Zatanna knew each other as teenagers (I missed where that happened, but, ok!). This plays well throughout this story with Zatanna continually running up against Bruce’s inability to take magic seriously.

Needless to say Batman and Zatanna go off to find the necessary crystal to set Superman right again. But in doing so, Batman encounters a moment where the object which they are searching for provides him the chance of his dreams fulfilled; we get to see a picture of his parents alive again and, believe it or not, a picture of him kissing Zatanna.

He says no, blah, blah, blah, the comic ends with Superman essentially telling Batman that he out of everyone in the world doesn’t need an escape – what he wants – and the last panel sees Batman, head dropped, staring out in to space.

That’s all good and well, but I hope that this isn’t just writers Michael Green and Mike Johnson’s own plot development that won’t see fruition anywhere else. As I said, I am a huge fan of Batman, and once you compare that to my dislike of Superman, you can pretty much see that I like the unpowered superheroes. Batman is by far my favorite, and I would like to see him matched up with someone! Zatanna, is his own personal antithesis.

I won’t bore you further with my ideas of “love in the DCU” but to say that this issue, with or without your love of a good romantic scene, is an issue worth picking up. For me, this issue gets 4 out of 5 Stars.

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The Author

Joshua Hill

Joshua Hill

I'm an aspiring author who just happens to also work on the web, reporting on the environmental research and science at Planetsave.com that makes sense of the climate change hype, reviewing fantasy books at FantasyBookReview, because I love fantasy books and want to tell you all about it. I also blog over at Life As A Human and at Extralife.

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4 Comments

  1. Jackalyn
    February 28, 2008 at 7:46 pm — Reply

    I think that the whole Zatanna and Bruce as childhood friends thing, comes from the Animated series. Bruce was starting on his quest to become batman, and trained with Zatanna’s father, who was a master escape artist.

  2. Josh P.
    February 29, 2008 at 7:02 am — Reply

    Actually, the Zatanna/Bruce thing comes from Paul Dini’s run on Detective Comics.

  3. Rowan
    February 29, 2008 at 9:52 am — Reply

    But isn’t Paul Dini alllllllll over the batman cartoon isnt that like his baby ??

  4. February 29, 2008 at 4:45 pm — Reply

    Yeah, I’m pretty sure Paul Dini was working towards making Batman and Zatana a ‘thing’ over in Detective, and they just picked up the thread and ran with it in Superman/Batman.

    Which is, unfortunately, making me very angry because I’m still wanting Bruce and Selina back together.

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