A Fine Duo: A Review of Batman/Superman #1

Greg Pak, Jae Lee and Ben Oliver take on DC greatest heroes!

Greg Pak, Jae Lee and Ben Oliver take on DC’s greatest heroes!

Comic Written by Greg Pak, Art by Jae Lee and Ben Oliver, Colored by June Chung and Daniel Brown, Lettered by Rob Leigh, Edited by Rickey Purdin and Eddie Beaganza

Batman and Superman are two of DC’s greatest and most recognizable super heroes.  Both have conquered various media outlets and are no stranger to each other.  However, in this new series by Greg Pak, who makes his DC Comics debut, the heroes actually are strangers to each other.  In the New 52, the heroes of the DC Universe are about five years into the world of super heroes, but in Batman/Superman #1, we are close to the beginning of that five years.  Batman and Superman, as well as Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent, are complete strangers to each other.  While these two individuals are heroes fighting on the side of justice, their idea of justice could not be more different.  However, when events occur that effect both heroes, these two meet for the first time, and the results are both surprising and hightly entertaining.

Greg Pak absolutely nails the voices of these two heroes.  Narration is provided from both characters point of view, and when they are together, it provides a clever back and forth giving us some real insight into how both characters think and react to a particular situation.  It’s not just the polarity on display between the two characters, but the subtle similarities as well.  Pak does a great job not only of informing us on who these characters, but enduring them to us as well.  His voices for Superman and Batman are some of the best I can recall in any comic I’ve read either of them in.  I have read Pak’s work before, but this is probably the best work of his I have ever read.

The artwork is phenomenal!  I wasn’t familiar with Jae Lee before reading this, but he has gained a fan in me.  The art is very cool and dynamic, with cool shadows effects and action that is easy to follow and really visceral.  I like how neither Batman nor Superman are super buff and have more eloquent statures; It makes sense since they are younger.  I also love the older costumes that they wear; this is my first time reading a comic with the denim jeans Superman and it’s a nice look.  Ben Oliver, who I know from his early Batwing art, does the last few pages, and it’s pretty good as well.  It’s a little jarring with a few close-ups that look a little awkward, but it meshes well enough with Lee’s work.

Batman/Superman #1 is one of the best first issues I’ve read for a New 52 comic in a very long time.  Pak, Lee, Oliver, and company provide a fresh look for two timeless heroes that’s both enjoyable in its own right and provides a great addition to the world of the New 52.  Having recently read  both first issues of Batman: The Zero Year and Superman: Unchained, I can honestly say this is the one of best Batman or Superman comic issues I’ve read in a really long time.  While I’ve had no real problem with either hero, I’ve never felt compelled to follow their solo adventures for one reason or another.  This time, I’ve got no excuse.  Pak has sold me on these characters like few other writers have, and I’m ready to dig in!

Writing: 5 out of 5

Artwork: 4.5 out of 5

Overall: 5 out of 5

Review by Andrew Mathieu

Coming Soon in 2012: Part 1

2012 promises to be a great year comic book fans.  The Big Two, Marvel and DC, as well as top independent talent for Image, Zenescope, IDW Publishing and more have have eyes locked to the future.  Here’s a short list of what I think is worth a look in the new year!

Saga (Image Comics)  Critically acclaimed writer Brian K. Vaughan returns to comics in a big way with his new creator-owned ongoing series, Saga.  Basically, to mythical beings, whose races are in a never-ending war with one another, fall within the throws passion, and end up with a daughter!  In order to save their child, the two run off from star system to star system in hopes of raising their family in peace.  The series debuts in March with a special extra-sized issue for the standard price of three dollars.

Earth 2 (DC New 52)  As part of the “Second Wave” of DC Comics New 52, Earth 2 marks the long awaited return of the fan-favorite team, the Justice Society of America.  Earth 2 by James Robinson and Nicola Scott sees a new version of the classic superhero team on an alternate version of the New 52 Earth.  Not much is known of the series, but DC editorial has confirmed the series will have an impact on the world of New 52.  The ongoing debuts in May.

Avengers Assemble (Marvel Comics)  With the long awaited debut of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes on the silver screen, Marvel is firing the opening salvo in their comic line with Avengers Assemble.  Written by the legendary creative team of Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley, Avengers Assemble sees Steve Rogers, AKA Captain America, bring in a team of veteran Avengers to stop a new iteration of the classic Avengers villain Zodiac.  This team will comprise the cast of the upcoming film, including Black Widow, Hawkeye, and the Incredible Hulk.  This series will also mark the last time Brian Michael Bendis will launch an Avengers comic as the creator will move away from the franchise before the end of the year.  Bendis has stated, however, the plot threads from this series will roll into unannounced comics he has in store for later this year!  Avengers Assemble launches in March.

That’s it for now, but stay tuned for even more awesome comics as this ongoing feature continues!

Happy New Year!

Andrew Mathieu

Batgirl: Bird of Prey

Batgirl officially joins the Birds of Prey cast in issue 4!

With the debut of DC Comics’ “New 52”, Barbara Gordon, one of the most popular female characters in all of comics, returned to her original identity of “Batgirl.”  This announcement came the time that an all new Birds of Prey comic by Duane Swierczynski and Jesus Saiz.  Barbara Gordon, who was the disabled “Oracle” in the old DCU, originally created and led the “Birds of Prey.”  While DC stated that Babs’ history with the “Birds” was still in continuity, the team would supposedly continue without her.

However, last week on the official DC Comics blog, “The Source” it was announced that Barbara Gordon would be returning to the “Birds of Prey” as “Batgirl!”  Though this was originally announced as a guest appearance, series writer Swierczynski confirmed that events in the title would lead ‘Batgirl’ to become a permanent member of the team.  Issue 4 is also promised to be a major status quo change for this volume of the series.

(For more information, visit The Source at:

http://dcu.blog.dccomics.com/2011/11/18/3-things-to-know-about-the-birds-of-prey/)

To be continued…