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Superman/Batman #24

Superman/Batman #24

Scheduled to arrive in stores: March 29, 2006

Cover date: January 2006

Writer: Jeph Loeb
Penciller: Ed McGuinness
Inker: Dexter Vines

"With a Vengeance!" - Chapter 5: "The Price of Our Sins"

Michael Bailey Reviewed by: Michael Bailey

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Superman fulfills his debt to Darkseid by freeing him from the Source Wall only to find himself betrayed by the dark god. Batman is confronted by Batwoman and Superwoman in an alternate Gotham City. When Batman asks if they have access to a Boom Tube Superlad knocks him out from behind. They take Batman to Batwoman's Batcave where he regains consciousness and once again asks if they have a Boom Tube. Batwoman tells him they don't but Miss Miracle and Big Bard, who arrive that very moment, do.

On Paradise Island Supergirl is having trouble believing that Bizarro came to ask her for help finding Superman. After a confusing exchange Bizarro informs her that he brought help. Supergirl wonders who this help is and Bizarro introduces her to Cir-El, Power Girl, Linda Danvers and the pre-Crisis version of herself.

Elsewhere the Maximums try to interrogate Batzarro. They are getting nowhere with Batzarro's backward speaking when the dead Bowman arrives and takes them to where they can find Superman. Instantly the team is transported to a circus tent with skeletons in the audience. They are confronted by the Joker whom the group instantly dislikes. After causing both Viking and Monster to disappear the rest of the team agrees to help him with his plans of vengeance as long as he restores their fallen comrades. Joker sweetens the deal by promising to also bring Skyscraper back.

Suddenly Batman and the rest of the heroes he ran into in the alternate Gotham City Boom Tube in. The two teams square off with Batman giving the order to take down as many as they can. The Joker fires his cane gun at Batman but Batzarro takes the projectile instead and dies in Batman's arms. The Batman demands to know what the Joker has done. Joker explains that he has killed himself a Batman and before the night is over he will kill every Batman that ever was.

4Story - 4: Some of you may disagree but to me this issue was definitely worth the wait.

This chapter did a wonderful job of setting up the grand finale of the story arc. Certain elements that were somewhat confusing to me started to make more sense as the Joker's involvement and ultimate plan became clear. I'm still not sure why Mr. Mxyzptlk is helping him again considering what happened the last time he worked with the Joker.

There were some nice little moments that made this book a real treat. The bit with Batman and Batwoman knowing what the other was thinking was a nice touch. I wasn't so hot on the concept of Superlad but I guess it fits. I really liked the idea of Miss Miracle and Big Bard and it played nicely into Loeb's alternate world person for person theme. I was very pleased with the fact that he brought the previous incarnations of Supergirl into the story even if I wasn't Cir-El's biggest fan. Linda Danvers was in the group, though, and that about made my day. I'm not sure how the various Supergirls are going to fit into the last chapter or if we are going to get any kind of explanation of Linda coming out of retirement (my guess it that Bizarro pulled her from around the time of her last story arc since that other Supergirl is there) but it was a fun bit of business.

So what are we left with? Superman is trapped in the Source Wall. Darkseid is on the loose. Batzarro is dead. Bizarro has assembled a team of Supergirls. The Maximums are fighting Batman's group. Mr. Mxyzptlk is involved and the Joker wants to kill every Batman there ever was. Yeah, I think we're in for a pretty action packed next issue. The story has been great so far and I have a lot of faith in Loeb's ability to deliver a satisfying ending to this arc.

4Art - 4: There's not a whole lot to say about the art in this issue. I enjoyed it as much as I've enjoyed the previous four issues. Ed McGuinness and Dexter Vines are great storytellers and their sense of character design is top notch. I dug their female/male versions of Superman, Batman, Supergirl, Mister Miracle and Big Barda. The action scenes have a great deal of intensity to them and their Joker is all about some creepy. I'm going to miss their work after next issue and hope that they can get back to the characters at some point.

4Cover Art - 4: This was a pretty eye catching cover and would definitely attract the attention of someone who wasn't reading the book. I'm not much on the Superlad costume, but that is a very minor problem. I also appreciated the fact that it was a riff on Ed and Dexter's Secret Files and Origins cover.

Mild Mannered Reviews


Note: Month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

January 2006

February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006

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