Advance Review: DC Comics: Anatomy of a Metahuman

When most people who don’t read comics think of the genre and the culture they often think of iconic figures of Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman. One of my favorite movies is Justice League: Doom which is based on the storyline “Justice League Of America: Tower Of Babel,” which I read first and then years later saw the animated movie. I had the same question, both times, how did Bruce Wayne collect all this intelligence on each of his friends? Thankfully, I wasn’t the only person thinking this, as the good people at Insight Editions have put together a behind the scenes look at what goes on in the mind of Bruce Wayne. We get a chance to discover his notes on every major metahuman, friend and foe, in Anatomy Of A Metahuman.

Concerned about the threat that so-called “metahumans” may pose to the world, Batman has begun compiling a detailed dossier on their incredible physiology and abilities. From villains like Killer Croc, Bane, and Brainiac, to Batman’s own comrades, including Superman and Cyborg, the file brings together the Dark Knight’s fascinating personal theories on the unique anatomical composition of these formidable individuals. This unique book delves into the incredible abilities of DC Comics characters like never before. Using beautifully illustrated anatomical cross sections depicting twelve different DC characters.

In “Introduction,” the reader gets a handwritten note form Bruce Wayne himself, as he lays out the very reason he has put these files together in the first place and how they can help when all the good has gone. In “Superman,” Bruce breaks down his friend and sometimes adversary, as he dives into how Kryptonian anatomy differs from human, though they look humanoid on the surface, as the most fascinating section focuses on his brain and how it is both superior and similar to humans. In “The Cheetah,” the reader get insight into her and Wonder Woman’s relationship and what Steve Trevor initially thought of the subjects. In “Aquaman,” the reader learns about Atlantis and how Atlanteans function almost like most sea creatures except with some rather unique abilities. In “Cyborg,” we learn about Victor Stone’s connection to the Mother Box, and though he may be human he is equally robot. In “Martian Manhunter,” we learn how Jonzz and Martian morphology, and how his need to fit in as human is both fascinating and mystifying. In “Swamp Thing,” we get a deep dive into how chlorokinesis works in his case and how it affects both his powers and his ability to rejuvenate himself. In “Darkseid,” we find out about the New Gods and though they are aliens, they also have deity-like qualities. In “Bane,” we learn how Bane became so strong and how this same elixir has made some foes unusually invincible including one former protege. In “Doomsday,” we find just how dangerous this creature is and why Superman and most Kryptonians both fear and revile him. In “Killer Croc,” we find out how a skin disorder made him into who he would become.  In “Bizarro,” we find the only true irregularity amongst the file,s as his whole physiology was due to defects that could only happen to Kryptonians. In “Killer Frost,” we get an in-depth look at cryokinesis, and just how it works with heat absorption. In “Conclusion,” Wayne laments the attention to detail he wished he gave each subject but wishes to go more in depth, with a promise to release more files.

The book is a deep dive into the characters as the Bruce Wayne gives the readers and painstaking look at each character and also into the mind of Bruce Wayne AKA Batman. The narration and notes by writers S.D. Perry and Matthew K. Manning are very entertaining and capture the character’s voice perfectly. The art by Ming Doyle can easily be in a sketchbook as well as an art museum. Altogether, an entertaining coffee book that can satisfy both comic book fans and pop culture fans equally.

The book is out September 18 and you can pre-order it now.

Story: S.D. Perry and Matthew K. Manning Art: Ming Doyle
Story: 9.4 Art: 9.0 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy