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Worlds Collide — Batman Superman #1 Review

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June sees two new titles from DC exploring two of its greatest characters. Superman Unchained released earlier this month, and it saw the formation of a dynamic-duo creative team made up of superstars Scott Snyder and Jim Lee. That series launched at an opportune time right before Man of Steel, DC’s Superman movie reboot, debuted in theaters. Today, readers can feast their eyes on Batman Superman #1, a series that pairs two of the most popular characters — comic and cultural — to explore the the duo’s first contact, team-ups, and conflicts. And fear not — the first issue is awesome. Batman Superman #1 puts writer Greg Pak and artist Jae Lee together for a series that gets it right — it’s beautiful to look at and the scripts are penned with polish. Much in the same vein as Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness’ 2003 Superman/Batman series that also saw Pat Lee and Michael Turner on pencil duties, DC’s newest title explores the perspectives of The World’s Finest — two contrasting chracters with different methods, thoughts, and motivations.

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Issue #1 begins in Batman’s backyard, Gotham City, a place where “the strong just eat the weak.” Color-coded captions help readers discern between the viewpoints of Clark Kent/Superman and Bruce Wayne/Batman as they both watch a young boy being bullied.

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While Wayne waits for the boy to fight back, Kent rushes in and orders the children away. It’s a scene that sets the tone for the book’s launch, and though it’s been done before, the difference here is Pak’s scripting which gets to the nitty-gritty by diving deep through the layers. While Superman — in his Kent disguise — tries to get information out of Wayne — playing the part of a civilian — readers get to see what the characters think of each other, how they play their individual roles, and what leads them on their journey to Metropolis to uncover the truth concerning the murder of Wayne Enterprises employees. Pak lays down a story that includes Catwoman, Wayne Enterprises tech — possible precursors to the Bat-robots of Kingdom Come — and a mysterious entity who can possess people. It’s a conglomeration of ideas, plot threads, and details that acknowledges the enormousness of these two characters.

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Lee puts in work with gorgeous panels that embody the contrasting and conflicting schemas. Beautifully drawn and expression-laden characters exist over minimalist backgrounds, all colored by June Chung. The art is frame-worthy and ethereal. Artist Ben Oliver and colorist Daniel Brown take over for what seems to be a dream sequence, and the transition isn’t jarring at all. It isn’t altogether clear what’s happening here — young Superman and modern Batman duke it out in a field until Jonathan Kent appears — and the issue closes out with the appearance of the mysterious entity, likely responsible for the strange goings-on. It’s a setup for the story arc to be continued, and even with all the mystery and vagueness, there’s a sense things will be well because Batman Superman is in capable hands.

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Superman and Batman have long been compared against each other. As the two faces of DC, they exist as two different faces of the same coin. There’s a back and forth within these pages, a chess game between two individuals fighting on the same side and sometimes against each other.

Either way, fans win.

Batman Superman #1 (2013)
DC
Words: Greg Pak
Art: Jae Lee and Ben Oliver
Colors: June Chung and Daniel Brown
Letters Rob Leigh

Next Issue: Batman Superman #2 Review

Buy Batman Superman #1 from Things From Another World!

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Hope — Man of Steel Review

www.hypergeeky.comThe idea of Superman — powerful protector and adopted son — becomes realized in the best Superman movie to date. Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel is an action-packed and emotional American epic that delves deep into current hot-button topics with tact and aplomb, provoking thought and understanding. Beginning with an intro that shows how detailed and large the film’s universe is, Man of Steel opens with Jor-El (Russell Crowe), world-renowned scientist of the planet Krypton, placing the future of his people into his natural-born son, Kal-El. Ignored by his government, Jor-El takes it upon himself to steal the Codex, the genetic code that births all Kryptonians who are born and bred for specific functions in society, embedding it into his son’s DNA before sending him off to a distant galaxy. A military coup led by General Zod (Michael Shannon), who also happens to be the only one who believes Jor-El’s warnings, fails to persuade Jor-El to join his side, and Zod’s botched takeover ends with his crew being sent away to the Phantom Zone.

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Free to Fly — Superman Unchained #1 Review

What’s the first thing readers will think of when they see Superman Unchained #1 on shelves Comic Book Wednesday? Obviously, they’ll notice the Jim Lee cover — unless they’ve been drawn towards the more expensive variants. They’ll also see Scott Snyder’s name on the cover along with the names of longtime Lee collaborator, inker Scott Williams, and epilogue illustrator Dustin Nguyen.

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I Ain’t Got Time to Bleed — Superman #11 Review

Superman’s encounters with the dangerous and unfamiliar continue in issue #11, this time with an inter-dimensional threat that looks inspired by a famous movie monster. Superman travels all the way to Russia to investigate a research installation which is being descended on by the national military. Superman’s visit to the facility uncovers the secret mission of the sub he tried to save in issue #9.

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