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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I’m a New Yorker so my natural affinity is for Metropolis, also the crime rate in Gotham seems a little too high. One of the largest cities in DC, Metropolis is the home of Superman. First appearing in Action Comics #16 on Sept. 1939, Metropolis is a massive city in the Northeastern part of the US. It’s close to Gotham City and is considered to be prosperous. Joe Shuster modeled the skyline after Toronto, but Metropolis looks and feels like NYC. In the comics Metropolis is said to have a population of 11 million.
It’s origins date back to 1542, when navigator Vincenzo Gnanatti discovered the region. Metropolis has six boroughs, eight neighborhoods, four waterways, four parks and of course is home to the Daily Planet. It’s home to heroes, Superman, Black Lightning, Booster Gold, Supergirl and Superboy. It’s also home to villains, Bizarro, Brainiac, Lex Luthor, Doomsday and Toyman. Nicknamed “The Big Apricot,” like New York City’s nickname “The Big Apple.” Unlike Gotham, that’s built on manufacturing and shipping industries, Metropolis is build on it’s tech industry.
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
The Penguin /General Zod
Mr. Freeze /Toyman
Killer Croc /Lobo
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.