Superman/Batman Vol. 1: Public Enemies

May 25, 2004 | Trades


Superman/Batman Vol. 1: Public Enemies
Jeph Loeb, Ed McGuinness
DC Comics
$30.95/$19.95 US (Hardcover)
**** 1/2 (out of five)

Superman and Batman: the ying and yang of super-heroes.
One, an idyllic symbol of hope, soaring through the sky, the epitome of speed, strength and courage. The other, cast in shadow, a human being who relies on his brains and inner strength as much as his outer to battle crime.
But playing them off each other is not to be taken lightly. If done badly, Supes seems self-righteous and even whiny, while The Bat comes off as a humourless sociopath with a martyr complex.
So it’s a good thing that DC brought in one of the best writers in the industry for this new ongoing series, the first monthly pairing of these heroes in nearly 20 years, in Jeph Loeb.
The author of such memorable tales as Superman For All Seasons, Batman: The Long Halloween and last year’s highly successful Batman: Hush storyline, Loeb has, perhaps, the best knowledge of who these characters are and how they can be used to their best potential. In this first arc of Superman/Batman, he shows it.
The interplay between the heroes — how they think so differently, yet achieve the same results, how they trust each other with their lives, yet still question each other’s motives — is brilliant. It takes what could have been just another team-up book and turns it into gold.
A fast-paced storyline, which sees Superman and Batman forced to battle heroes, villains and even the President of the United States to stop an asteroid the size of Brazil from crashing into Earth just adds to the epic feel of this book.
Topping off this near-perfect package is the outstanding art of Ed McGuinness, whose slightly cartoonish, yet ultra-dynamic work gives this title a larger-than-life feel.
Public Enemies is a terrific first arc that makes you instantly crave the next.

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