Review: Batman/Superman #22

bmsm022This series is at the crossroads of one of the strangest meetings in comic history.  While the history of comic books has evolved since its early days, two of the constants in the medium have always been Superman and Batman, the two two characters, who along with the later addition of Spider-Man can be said to be the ones which transcend the medium and enter into general public knowledge.  As the two characters that are held by DC, it has made sense to put these two together, even if they are massively different in terms of powers and abilities.  One complements the others and the pairing focuses more on their strengths than on their weaknesses.  At the moment though the two characters are in a state of flux.  Superman is depowered to a degree, and Batman is replaced.  As the series which used to focus on the relationship of these two working together, it now focuses on the two heroes trying to pick up the pieces of the changes in their lives.

The action picks up where it left off in the previous issue, with Superman and Batman in a standoff, with Batman going so far as wanting to arrest him.  It doesn’t come to pass, especially as Superman reveals his reasons for being in Gotham City.  It is soon also revealed that Lucius has been hiding a secret, one that is of great interest to Ukur, Beastlord of Subterranea, who subsequently tries to acquire this device.  With Superman taking the lead in the fight, it soon becomes evident that there is a big difference between the old and the new relationship between these two heroes, especially as Clark is trying an approach which would work with Bruce Wayne but apparently not with Jim Gordon.

As a continuation of the Truth and Justice story arcs for the new Superman, this is perhaps the best issue yet, although it still leaves a lot of room for improvement.  At the same time, the Jim Gordon Batman is still a little out-of-sorts here as elsewhere, with his first reaction to any superhero is to try to arrest them, a characteristic which would not have been true with either Batman or Jim Gordon, yet is supposed to be different here for some reason.  Thus while there are signs of improvement, there are also still flaws here, and it remains to be seen if the story will reach where it needs to be for this to work before the fans start grumbling for the return of their heroes how they like them.

Story: Greg Pak  Art: Ardian Syaf
Story: 7.7 Art: 7.7  Overall: 7.7  Recommendation: Read