BATMAN/SUPERMAN #2
Author: Matt Grazel
July 26, 2013

SYNOPSIS: Batman and Superman travel to Earth 2, where they find familiar heroes
who are trying to kill them! - DCCOMICS.COM

BATMAN/SUPERMAN is sure to get some added attention after last week's film announcement, don't you think? Let's see what this new monthly has to offer fans of the "World's Finest"…

Issue #2 opens up immediately after the end of #1 – a young, raw Batman and a still-jeans-and-t-shirt-wearing Superman have barely encountered one another for the first time, and suddenly been transported to "Earth Two" of the DC Universe…and right into meetings with alternate, older versions of themselves.

The bulk of this chapter involves "New 52" Bruce and Clark coming to terms with, and eventually exploring this alternate world where certain events have occurred differently, giving new and interesting takes on how these characters exist. Fans of certain iconic relationships in both Batman and Superman's lives should be pleased by the nods given here. Particularly interesting is "Earth Two" Batman's explanation of what happened to crime – and Arkham Asylum – in this version of Gotham City.

Of course, it's not all 'ooh's and 'ah!'s--the being (Creature? Demon? Alien?) that caused this mysterious transportation, calling himself The Trickster, is still on the loose and has some kind of game in mind for our heroes. It will be interesting to see what revelations about this character and his plan are unveiled in chapters to come.

The real star of this book, however, is artist Jae Lee. This series is my first exposure to Lee's work, but it is nothing short of a spectacle to behold. Stylized in a way not unlike J.H. Williams III's fantastic work on BATWOMAN, the penciller has fun with every aspect of the page: the layouts, the designs (fans of Tim Burton should be particularly pleased with Lee's Gotham City), the action panels. There is a lush, cinematic feel here, perfectly complemented by June Chung's colors…Batman's world has dark and cold colors, while Superman's evokes a brightness and warmth…one can practically feel growing up on a farm while seeing the world through Clark's eyes. It's easy to see this series making one gorgeous hardcover edition in the future.

At the end of the day, BATMAN/SUPERMAN proves to be a unique outing, offering something different than the two characters' own books, or JUSTICE LEAGUE, where they appear together. If you're one of the many Batman fans who shy away from stories involving magic and/or time-space hopping, the premise here might be off-putting. Given a try, however, and one might find this story to be heartfelt, engaging, and (most importantly) easy to follow even if you've never read an EARTH TWO comic (I never have). Writer Greg Pak delivers some potent inner dialogue, displaying a capable understanding of the way these characters think and react. Not sure how well it would sit with the non-comic readers, given the more fantastic nature of the story, but if you like Batman and Superman together and have considered giving this series a shot, I'd say go for it! - Bobby Barrett

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