Thursday, December 8, 2016

Review of "Superman/Batman Volume 1," by Jeph Loeb et. al.

Review of
Superman/Batman Volume 1, by Jeph Loeb et. al. ISBN 9781401248185

Five out of five stars
 There is no doubt in the mind of any fan of comic books that Batman and Superman are the two superstars of the DC Comics line. They are two different personalities, yet both have a strong sense of decency and a desire to make the world better. In this set of continuing, yet largely distinct stories, we see inside their psyches while they face off against powerful adversaries.
 An unusual and very effective technique is used in the stories. Secondary segments of dialog that are coded blue for Batman and yellow for Superman are included in the captions. Their innermost thoughts regarding the current situation are expressed there and the reader is exposed to some depth within their personalities.
 In the opening story, Lex Luthor is the elected president of the United States and a large asteroid made of kryptonite is headed for Earth. It is being drawn to Superman and since his hatred is consuming, Luthor declares Superman and his ally Batman to be criminals to be captured. A bounty of one billion dollars is being offered for the delivery of Superman to federal authorities. Since this is a task that only those with superpowers could possibly carry out, it brings out the villains with superpowers as well as the heroes that have been ordered to capture Superman. It creates a rift among the members of the JLA.
 There is a strong supporting role for Wonder Woman in the stories after Supergirl arrives on Earth. With no understanding of Earth and the human cultures, Supergirl must be educated in the ways of the planet and there are some things that Kal-El has difficulty in dealing with. He takes on the role of an older, protective male when he should allow Kara Zor-El to make her own decisions.
 This is simultaneously the most logical as well as the most illogical team-up of heroes in the DC line. The difference in their level of powers is substantial with that of their personalities matching. Yet, they also complement each other very well, Batman trusts no one while Superman is inclined to be too optimistic regarding human behavior. The combination makes for an excellent set of stories.

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