Batman/Superman #1: Recap and Review

Batman/Superman #1

Writer: Joshua Williamson

Artist: David Marquez

Letters: John J. Hill

Colors: Alejandro Sanchez


Batman and Superman join forces again

Batman and Superman are the two most iconic superheroes in comics. So putting them together in one comic series seems to make sense. I’m personally not familiar with the work of Joshua Williamson and David Marquez, but from what I’ve read they’re both great creators. The familiarity with Superman and Batman allows Williamson to jump right in. Batman/Superman #1, starts off with Clark Kent working on a story at the Daily Planet. Batman calls Clark in a panic. It’s quickly apparent that somethings wrong with Batman. His “voice sounds different,” as Superman notes. He seems petty, as he compares the tragic events that costed them their parents. He believes that “there is nothing that should make them allies.” Confusing Superman.

Batman and Superman in Gotham. Who are the secret six?
Superman arrives to meet Batman

Enter the Batman Who Laughs

When Superman arrives at the Justice League satellite, he witnesses the carnage that the Batman who laughs created. He poisons the air with “kryptonite-infused gas,” as Superman asks why? We return to current time on Earth-O, in Gotham City. Batman is explaining the Batman who laughs to Superman, while Commissioner Gordon waits. He explains that a thirteen year old boy named Danny Mills was kidnapped. According to the boys brother a “laughing Superman” kidnapped him. Batman and Superman leave to search for the boy. Batman asks Superman, “how would he stop an out of control Batman.” Superman crashes through the ground in Crime Alley (where Batman’s parent died) to enter a secret passage below.

Superman being choked by the Shazam who laughs.
Who will win?

Enter the Shazam Who Laughs

Batman and Superman encounter Batdrones in the Batcave of the Batman Who Laughs. They investigate the cave, learning that he has infected his batarangs with the serum that created him. As they question the motives of the other Batman, they notice a “message” on the chess board. When Superman moves a piece, they see an image of the Justice League, the Titans and Teen Titans with x’s on their eyes and lipstick on their mouths. Batman deduces that this is all part of his plan. They can’t know who’s infected, so they would suspect everyone. Suddenly, Batman is attacked by one of the Batman who laughs, Robins. He begins to talk about being “taken from his family and hit with a batarang.” This boy isn’t Danny. It’s Billy Batson. He says Shazam, transforming into the Shazam who laughs.


Conclusion

Batman/Superman #1 was spectacular. There can be a sense of inevitability to the outcome when both Batman and Superman are working together. Who can best them. If they encounter several members of the Justice League that have been infected with the laughing serum, they may not have a easy time. The Batman Who Laughs is a villain that can contend with these to. The writing from Joshua Williamson is magnificent. We get some insight into the relationship between Superman and Batman, while the mystery of what the Batman Who Laughs is up to is intriguing. The art of Marquez is perfect. His detailed art style matches well with the tone of this series. These two together have created a series that is worth reading. I highly recommend it.

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30 Day DC Challenge – Day 30: Favorite DC Event

Final Crisis

Final Crisis is a crossover story that ran from May 2008 to January 2009. Written by Grant Morrison, the limited series spanned 7 issues. Marketed as “the day evil won,” Final Crisis deals with Darkseid as he plots to “overthrow reality.” After the final battle of the New Gods, the spirit of Darkseid travels through time and manifests inside the body of a human being. After finding the dying Orion, detective Dan Turpin, The Justice League of America and the Green Lantern Corps investigate. The learn that he was killed by a Radion bullet that was “fired backwards through time from the future.” Realizing the upcoming threat, Alan Scott enacts “Article X,” preparing the metahuman forces for the war that is coming.

The New Gods manage to remove the greatest obstacles to Darkseid’s master plan. Batman is captured, Hal Jordan framed for murder, Wonder Woman infected by bacteria called Morticoccous, Superman in the future and Flash in the past. Turpin is possessed by the essence of Darkseid, who then subjects Turpin’s body to “bio-genetic restructuring” to recreate Darkseid’s original form. Darkseid’s agents spread the Anti-Life Equation through communication networks, spreading it around the world. As a result, Darkseid gains control over the majority of Earth’s population.

A small group of superheroes manage to resists. A battle between the mind controlled heroes and the resistance. Wonder Woman infects the other heroes with Morticoccous that strips them of their powers. Batman mortally wounds Darkseid with a radion bullet, however, Darkseid kills him with his Omega Beams. Enraged Superman retrieves Batman’s corpse, the Flashes still being chased, lead Black Racer and the Omega Beams that follow them directly to Darkseid. Like most crossovers, Final Crisis is convoluted and not for everyone. The art style shifts from JG Jones to Doug Mahnke, the death of Batman turns out not to matter. Despite all this I still enjoyed Final Crisis, it’s overall entertaining and I did wonder if Darkseid would win.

Well this marks the last day of this challenge. Did you enjoy it? Have another challenge I should consider? Regardless, I appreciated all the comments. Thank you.

30 Day DC Challenge – Day 27: Favorite DC Comic Book series

Kingdom Come

Kingdom Come was written by Alex Ross and Mark Waid. The series is part of DC comics Elsewords imprint. Featuring the photorealistics art style of Alex Ross, the series focused on a complex story of a future DC universe. Ross created new costumes for most of the characters, he also added several new characters. Set in the year 2020, the Justice League we come to know have mostly retired. They are succeeded by a new more radical generation, that lacks the concern of civilians. They often clash with each other. After a nuclear explosion in Kansas, resulting from Parasite tearing apart Captain Atom, Superman finally comes out of retirement.

Other heroes continued to fight crime, The Flash still patrols around Keystone City, Hawkman protects the forests of the Pacific Northwest, Green Lantern watches Earth from an emerald city in space, Batman (now elderly) uses robots to patrol Gotham. However, other heroes like Aquaman, the Amazons and the Legion of Super-Heroes abandon the world. The four issues results in Superman creating a “reformation center” for superheros called the “Gulag.” It becomes a re-education camp, trying to teach the prisoners how to use their powers.

Lex Luthor and Batman join forces (it doesn’t last long) to create the Mankind Liberation Front. Superman and Captain Marvel fight, a bomb is dropped on the combatants. Captain Marvel sacrifices himself, but the bomb still manages to kill many of the super-humans. Superman and Wonder Woman become pregnant and Batman becomes the godfather. The series Kingdom Come is an epic story with amazing art. It’s one of the few series that gives Superman complexity. I highly recommend this series.

30 Day DC Challenge – Day 24: Worst Superhero Costume

Superhero costumes are obviously difficult to come up with. You could be as simple as possible, but that feel like laziness. Some costumes are impractical. Many heroes (mostly women) have costumes that seem to work against them more than for them. Hawkman’s chest harness does little to protect said chest. Sometimes the costume has a feature that does nothing for the hero. Power Girl’s infamous “chest window” is on of the most popular example of this. Most of the worst costumes seem to have been created in the 1970’s. I don’t think that is an accident. The general fashion sense of those times weren’t too subtle. There are so many bad costumes, but this one is the worst.


Batman’s Zebras Suit

Batman has one of the best superhero costume’s in comics. However, he once wore on of the worst ones. In Detective Comics #275, Batman wears a Zebra Batman costume. In the issue, Batman and Robin battle Zebra Man. A small time criminal and a scientists, Zebra Man discovered that “all energy has lines of force.” After charging his body with this energy these “lines of force,” go through his costume. Batman becomes exposed to this energy, he becomes a Zebra-Batman. In this form Batman begins to repel everything with great force. Batman couldn’t get near anyone or eat without repelling it. While the Zebra suit wasn’t an intentionally made costume, it still wasn’t a good look.

30 Day DC Challenge – Day 22: Favorite Superhero Hideout

Batcave

This one was obvious. I think that the Batcave is the coolest hideout in all of comic books. Built under his mansion, the Batcave is a series of subterranean caves. It was a way for slaves to travel when escaping during the civil war era. It’s home to American Brown Bats, which are feed by Alfred. Bruce uses the caves as a sanctum, that he also uses to fight war on crime. Batman is able to monitor Gotham and the world. It’s most important equipment is the supercomputer that is on par with national security agencies. It connects to major information networks, stores massive amounts of data, and can connect to satellites. The “Bat-computer” is considered to be one of the most supercomputer systems.

Batman keeps his collection of ancient armor worn by Knights, nomads and Samurai in the Batcave. It also has facilities such as “crime lab, various specialized laboratories, mechanized workshops, personal gymnasium, a vast library, parking, docking and hangar space for his various vehicles as well as separate exits for the various types, trophies of past cases, a large bat colony, and a Justice League teleporter.” The Batcave has a “subway rocket” that allows him to travel via the Gotham Rail System, allowing him to get to Gotham City quickly. The cave is often powered by a nuclear reactor or a hydro-electric generator. The Batcave is safeguarded against earthquakes and a nuclear catastrophe. It’s rumored that there’s a “Lazarus Pit” in the Batcave but that claim hasn’t been proven.

Finally, the Batcave is home of memorabilia from villains. It features a full-sized T-Rex, a large U.S. penny and a Joker playing card. Batman has kept “Two-Face’s original coin, Deathstroke’s sword, the shroud of the Mad Monk, a collection of the Penguin’s deadly umbrellas, a Joker laughing fish, one of Harley Quinn’s popguns, a Scarface dummy, Bane’s mask and Venom tank, Mad Hatter’s top hat, the Red Hood’s domed helmet and original costume, Maxie Zeus’s lightning weapon, and an over-sized collection of bowling ten-pins.”

30 Day DC Challenge – Day 18: Hero with the best set of Villains?


This was a contest between the villains of Batman and Superman. To choose which of the class of villains I preferred I wrote a list of the top ten (in my opinion) villains for each of them. Then I compared each villain to another on the other lists. Superman’s villains won by 6-4. My choices are in bold:

  • The Joker /Lex Luther
  • The Riddler /Darkseid
  • Two-Face /Brainiac
  • The Penguin /General Zod
  • Catwoman /Parasite
  • Bane /Bizzaro
  • Mr. Freeze /Toyman
  • Killer Croc /Lobo
  • Scarecrow /Mongul
  • Poison Ivy /Metallo

So won do you think has the best villains, Superman or Batman? Does another DC hero have better ones? Let me know.

30 Day DC Challenge -Day 11: Favorite DC Live Action Movie

The Dark Knight (2008)

The Dark Knight was a directed, co-produced and co-written by Christopher Nolan. It’s the second installment in Nolan’s Batman trilogy. In the film, Batman, Lieutenant Gordon and DA Harvey Dent attempt to stop organised crime in Gotham. The Joker has teamed up with the Mob in order to cause chaos. Nolan was inspired by the graphic novel The Killing Joke (1988) and limited series The Long Halloween (1996). The movie was very well received. Many film critics considered The Dark Knight to be one of the greatest superhero films of all time. It became the highest grossing film of 2008 with over a billion worldwide. It received 8 Academy Awards nominations, winning Best Sound Editing and Best Supporting Actor (Ledger).

It is this performance by Ledger that made The Dark Knight the best. Generally, acting in superhero movies doesn’t matter that much. Are you believable enough as the superhero your portraying is largely the standard. Ledger’s performance as the Joker was amazing. His physical movements and voice were perfect. Instead of having skin that was the result of chemical bleaching, Ledger’s Joker wore makeup. His Joker had a now trademark Glasgow smile. The makeup appears to have been put on chaotically, which accurately represents the Joker’s mental state. Ledger stated that he had used A Clockwork Orange‘s Alex (Malcolm McDowell) and Sid Vicious as inspiration for the Joker. He also used Alan Moore’s Batman: The Killing Joke and Grant Morrison’s Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth.

In Heath Ledger’s diary he wrote of the Joker, “inside. He’s laughing red and black and red and black till there’s nothing left to laugh. Until, almost tenderly, he turns inside out through his mouth.” If you have read this challenge you know that the Joker is my favorite villain. This performance was masterfully crafted and it shows. If you haven’t seen it I highly recommend it (you can stream it on Netflix), while I think this performance of the Joker is the reason this is the best, the rest of the movie is good.

30 Day DC Challenge -Day 1: Who is your Favorite Male Hero

Batman (Bruce Wayne)

Universe: Prime Earth

Creators: Bill Finger · Bob Kane

First App: Flash point Vol 2 #5 (October, 2011)

At the risk of being cliche my favorite male hero has to be Batman. He is one of the most storied comic book characters in his story. A billionaire industrialists that became the protector of the city of Gotham, Batman is one of the best superheroes in DC comics. Born to the wealthy doctor Thomas Wayne and his wife Martha, both of whom were murdered by Joe Chill. This experience mark the turning point in his life, Bruce decided that he will spend his life fighting crime.

Bruce is one of the best fighters in DC. He trained with Chu Chin LU and Tsunetomo, two master martial artist from the Far East. In the Himalayas, he trained with Shihan Matsuda, where he learned to use a katana. Bruce also learned “the arts of stunt-driving, invention, and intimidation.” He also numerous abilities:

  1. Acrobatics
  2. Archery
  3. Aviation
  4. Business Management
  5. Disguise
  6. Computer Hacking
  7. Driving
  8. Firearms
  9. Genius Level Intellect
  10. Investigation
  11. Multilingualism
  12. Stealth
  13. Tactical Analysis
  14. Tracking

Batman also has a number of cool gadgets (he seems to have one for everything) and vehicles. His Batsuit is iconic, made out of Kevlar and minimum titanium. This makes his suit bullet proof and resistant to explosion, impacts, falls and fire. He has a Utility Belt that contains a numerous amount of useful items. From ” plastic explosives, nerve toxins, batarangs, smoke bombs, a fingerprint kit, a cutting tool, a grappling hook gun, torches, and a “re-breather” breathing device.” He also has a ring made out of kryptonite entrusted to him by Superman.

Batman in the hands of different writers can range in his moodiness, his willingness to engage in violence and torture. Some writers believed that he would never kill others like Frank Miller’s Batman did kill if necessary. Overall, the reason I love Batman is his personality. He simply doesn’t care what anyone thinks and does what ever he wants or needs to do. Furthermore, because he’s human his ability to fight against and along side super-powered beings is impressive. He also has to use a combination of his wealth, intellect and strategy.