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Superman/Batman #54

Superman/Batman #54

Scheduled to arrive in stores: December 10, 2008

Cover date: January 2009

"SuperBat" - Part 2

Writer: Michael Green and Mike Johnson
Penciller: Rags Morales
Inker: John Dell

Michael Bailey Reviewed by: Michael Bailey

Click to enlarge

Superman trains Batman in the Fortress of Solitude. Batman quickly acclimates to his new powers and makes short work of the Fortress robots. Zatanna arrives and gives them the low down on the brooch the Silver Banshee stole.

Later Robin and Alfred find Batman hanging upside down in the Batcave. He tells them that he has found his focus again and orders Robin to stay behind since he would only get in the way. Meanwhile Clark and Lois talk on the roof of the Daily Planet building. Clark is having problems adjusting to life without his abilities but Lois is supportive and loving towards her husband.

Back in Gotham Batman is omnipresent, stopping any and all crime. He finally confronts Bane and after the two fight for a bit he drives his fist into Bane's stomach. At the same time Clark and Lois walk through the streets of Metropolis. Clark spots a mugging and when he intervenes he gets a bullet to the chest for his trouble.

1Story - 1: I don't know when the last time I gave something a one. I really can't remember. That's how rare it is. I mean even if I really dislike something I'll give it a two because a one feels so harsh.

Not in this case though.

Oh no, this story gets a one because I think it deserves a one.

I mean on a technical level this story works. Green and Johnson are doing their level best to tell what they think is a compelling story about how Batman would deal with having Superman's powers. What would that do to him? How would that change him and how would that effect Clark for that matter? It's a sound premise with interesting themes. There's just one problem.

It all doesn't matter.

By admitting that this title is sort of, kind of, maybe out of continuity DC has removed the teeth from any story told in these pages because in the grand scheme of things they don't count. Now there are some people out there who don't care about such things and fall back on, "As long as the story is good it just doesn't matter." The thing is, to me, it does matter. If Batman got Superman's abilities there should be consequences. Even if the story is only four issues long and forgotten later some thought should be given to how this is going to impact the short run.

In other words, if Batman shoves his fist through Bane, which should kill the man Venom, or no Venom, then that should make things difficult for the Dark Knight down the road.

Unless it is out of continuity, and then who gives a rip? It doesn't matter. It's just about the story. Let's give a blank check to any writer that wants to tell their "awesome" Superman and Batman story.

I'm not even going to go into how cheap the cliffhanger to this issue was or how my problem with Batman putting a fist through Bane is so out of character, even if he was hopped up on Superman's powers. There's no point. It doesn't matter. Once this story is over it will be forgotten and it won't have any impact on the regular books.

So who cares, right?

That's a terrible way to craft a story. It's the "It Just Doesn't Matter" approach to comic books. As long as it's cool everything else is secondary.

Hey, Nineties. Welcome back. I missed you.


If you liked this issue I'm glad. If you found some measure of enjoyment out of it that's cool too. If you completely disagree with me that's fine. Between the fact that there are no consequences for this story and the complete and utter lack of respect to Batman as a character I have to give this story a one or I'll go crazy.

3Art - 3: Well the art is certainly exciting, isn't it? Batman fighting robots. Batman hanging upside down. Batman with cool red eyes. Batman burning a bat symbol into the ground. Clark getting shot in the chest. It's not bad, but I'm not feeling Morales on this story like I did on IDENTITY CRISIS. I have a feeling some of that might be my general contempt for this story and this title in general at the moment, which is a bit unfair, but still.

3Cover Art - 3: This is by no means a bad cover but things are a Superman looks funky, Batman looks like he needs to eat something and Bane...well, Bane looks pretty good actually.

So not a terrible cover but certainly not the best.

Mild Mannered Reviews


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

January 2009

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