With Great Power Comes Much Punching and Fighting


With all the craziness that is going on in the DC Universe, it’s nice to know you can sit down and read a title that both follows and breaks continuity at every turn.  Superman/Batman reintroduced Supergirl to the world, but it also featured a run where the entire universe went flippy a couple of times, and no one in any of the other titles noticed.

We’ve now come to a tale that has the Silver Banshee doing the thing that she does so well, which had the odd effect of Batman acquiring Superman’s powers.  What’s the world’s greatest detective going to do with such power?  It’s probably not what you think.

Unless you looked already looked at the cover.

supermanbatman54cover.jpgAs you might expect following an issue where the two central characters switch powers, a great deal of the exposition is spent seeing how the characters deal with the changes.  Batman begins to harness and use his new skills to totally wipe out crime across Gotham City,  and even though he says he’s in control, it is quite obvious the power trip is going to his head to the point where his moral code is pretty much wiped out.

The issue comes to a head when Batman decides to track down the source of the drugs in Gotham, which leads him to Santa Prisca Island – yes, the same island that Bane was born and raised, and the same island where Bane is now the drug overlord.  I know, I find it strange that Bane appears in this issue, as well as Secret Six, and had to have his lines in Infinite Crisis rewritten so he would change from a good guy back to a bad guy.  But whatever, right?  It’s just a story…
Super-Bats arrives at the island and begins to blow stuff up real good, and when Bane appears, the two go at it.  Unlike Superman, Batman is more than willing to not hold back on his powers and, in a surprise panel, it looks like Batman punches a hole clear through Bane’s stomach.  If that really is the case, it’s really gonna piss Gail Simone off.

Is Bane dead? Unlikely.  These days you can’t kill anyone without them coming back to life an issue later.  But that is a conversation best left for another time.

Clark on the other hand is having his own conflicts as he’s trying to adapt to life as a normal Joe.  Of course having just gone through the events of One Year Later and 52, where he was completely depowered, you’d think he’d be used to it by now…

Still, you can take the power out of the Superman, but you can’t take the hero out of the man.  As Lois and Clark go for an evening stroll, a scuffle in a nearby alley draws Clark in to help.  One thing leads to another, and Clark is shot point blank in the gut.

There’s some brilliant intercutting between the two stories, and there is a more than coincidental mirroring of the wounds between Bane and Clark.

The Good

  • Red Eyes Batman
  • Classic Clark Kent with a fedora
  • Lois Lane with that look in her eye
  • Batman going bat-sh*t crazy

The Bad

  • The “death” of Bane
  • The “death” of Clark
  • Batman being a super-dick
  • Not paying attention to continuity

Yeah, I’m a stickler for storytelling that is rooted in continuity.  This particular arc could still tell a great story and make reference to past events, but it doesn’t and ends up causing some confusion in the end.  I dig where Michael Green and Mike Johnson are going with Batman and his new found powers, I just hope the ending is as dramatic and character altering as Clark getting shot.

Rags Morales does an excellent job on the art, and I can’t point to one panel that appeared odd or strange.  Layouts are great, and the inking is well done.  Heck, there’s even some fanboy service in the form of an all girl wait staff.  That, and the shots of Zatanna look pretty good too.

Unlike other series, this second issue doesn’t disappoint.  The action is even more intense that the first, and the teaser image for next issue gives the impression that the writers are going to slow the story down for the sake of filling for the trade.  Superman/Batman as a series is really great, and this issue earns 3.5 out of 5 Stars.



The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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  1. Sanlear
    December 18, 2008 at 2:03 pm — Reply

    “Yeah, I’m a stickler for storytelling that is rooted in continuity.”

    Same here. Oh, the brain cells I’ve killed trying to figure out DC continuity…….

  2. Roy
    December 18, 2008 at 7:32 pm — Reply

    So, what’s the point of having Bats “lose control” in this arc? I would think that Batman’s lack of powers would give him a unique perspective on the usage of superpowers (especially after the whole Brother Eye thing…). So, again, I ask – why have Bats lose control?

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