Saturday, 5 April 2014

Batman Superman, Volume 1: Cross World Review (Greg Pak, Jae Lee)

I’d try to summarise the plot but for the life of me I don’t think there was one. New 52 Batman and Superman, before they join the Justice League (so this is 5 or 6 years back from the “present” - the New 52 timeline is so messy!), get sent to Earth 2 by a demon trickster called Kaiyo (Kaiyo = KO = Knock-Out - it’s that imaginative!) where they meet older, wiser versions of themselves. They fight. They go back home. The end. 

I think this was meant to show how Batman and Superman became close friends by showing them as disliking/distrusting one another to start with and then learning that they both share common goals, but really in the New 52, they’ve never been “friends”. Even now in the “present”, they’re still annoying one another, bickering in the constantly-fractured Justice League. 

I like the New 52 t-shirt and jeans Superman so seeing more of him was good and I really enjoyed Jae Lee’s super gothic, moody art which makes Gotham look so frickin’ awesome, and his Catwoman design rocked. But those are the only positives I can think of for this effort. 

It’s basically four issues of two Batmen and two Supermen talking about their differences (duh, Earth 1 is different from Earth 2 - let’s point out the changes!), fighting one another (because heaven forfend that we ever get a Superman/Batman story without the two fighting!) and then Darkseid makes a pointless cameo. It’s so boring, stale, and unimaginative, I don’t know what Greg Pak/DC were thinking! Well, I can guess - “Batman and Superman are our top-selling properties, let’s make another series with the two and make more money!”. Oh and having young Clark and young Bruce meet as kids when Wayne's car breaks down in Smallville? That's some Star Wars prequel-level garbage, Greg! 

Four issues is a bit short for a book so the Darkseid Villain’s Month one-shot is thrown in which tells you Darkseid’s origins in a brief, uninteresting way. Like the other Villain’s Month one-shots, this one is a total waste of time (with no Jae Lee art to save it either). 

I can’t recommend this for either Batman, Superman or Earth 2 fans as it’s such a dull, unsatisfactory story - seriously, has Greg Pak ever written anything worthwhile? How does he keep getting big assignments?! Jae Lee fans would definitely like it for the art alone but Batman/Superman is definitely not a must-read addition to the New 52.

Batman/Superman Volume 1: Cross World HC (The New 52)

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