Reversal of powers, reality altering hijinks of imps from the fifth dimension, and the return of Supergirl are just some of the tales found inside the pages of Superman/Batman, the follow up series to the long running and highly popular Worldâ€™s Finest.Â The 80â€™s are long over, but the continuing adventures of DCâ€™s BFFs need to be told.Â And this time, we find out who really is the bigger man.
On the anniversary of Supermanâ€™s arrival on Earth, Kal-El is waylaid on his journey home by the Prankster, a criminal that uses toys and pranks as his moniker.Â Get it?Â Just when Supes thinks he has the perp beat, Oswald Hubert Loomis, clicks his remote, triggering a nano accelerator which shrinks Superman down to who knows where.
Even at the nanoscopic level, Superman is still able to fire off his JLA emergency transmitter, which is picked up by Batmanâ€™s communicator.Â And since heâ€™s already put this issueâ€™s criminals to bed, heâ€™s off to help his friend.Â Tagging along are Robin and John Henry Steel, who according to Bats is â€œone of the three smartest people on the planetâ€.Â Real nice.Â For those keeping score that would be Passive/Aggressive Batman, a solid 3 on the Bat-Dickness Meter.
When Batman finally tracks down Superman, thanks to the handy nano-microscope on his utility belt (itâ€™s right there next to the shark repellant), readers get to see what the world is like at the nanoscopic level.Â Of course anyone whoâ€™s read the Atom comics knows what that world looks like, but to read that experience from Supermanâ€™s vantage point is quite interesting.
Instead of simply unshrinking the Man of Steel, Batman has a much better solution – shrink himself down in order to save his best friendâ€™s life.
Obviously thereâ€™s a reason for this, but readers wonâ€™t discover the answer in this issue.
This issue makes very good use of humor, and unlike other writers, who force the comedy, the interplay between Prankster and Superman, and then later Batman and Robin (â€œBatarangs are NOT toys!â€ â€œRight.â€) flows naturally from the characterâ€™s mouths.Â This is actually a good thing as it shows the writer understands the characters he is writing, and proves it on the page.
One thing I find troubling is the art/inking I found in two DC titles; this one and Gordon.Â Iâ€™ll chalk it up to a printing error, but there is one panel in the issue where the bad guyâ€™s eyes are completely devoid of eyeballs.Â The eyes arenâ€™t in shadow, thereâ€™s just no eye in the socket.Â Iâ€™d hate to think this is a subtle Blackest Night ploy, but in this day and age, when upping the hype engine to sell a title that is already going to sell it self is overkill.Â Still it is disturbing, and I hope whoever is in charge of this at the company checks this stuff a bit more closely in the future.
Superman/Batman #57 doesnâ€™t have Martin Short or Dennis Quaid, but it does reinforceÂ concepts that were introduced in The All-New Atom series, that I quite liked.Â Iâ€™m not completely sold on the idea that Batman needs to shrink down to the nano level, but if the payoff is good, then it can be forgiven down the road.Â This issue is certainly different from the last arc, and considering Superman and Batman are both absent from their own titles at the moment, Superman/Batman #57 keeps the attention and earns 3.5 out of 5 Stars.