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