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Review: Batman/Superman #2
Fred  |  July 24, 2013

Read a review of Batman/Superman #1 here.

Now this is a satisfying issue. It resolves enough of the questions the preceding one left you with, while maintaining mystery to spare for issues to come. Clark and Bruce are being toyed with by some powerful, inter-dimensional creature who's decided to pop them in and out of different realities, before letting them stew together in one that's very similar to their own. Right down to having it's own Superman and Batman, alternate universe versions who resemble pre-New 52/Crisis archetypes of themselves. It makes for some really interesting moments, especially since our universe's Clark and Bruce have just met. The trust that is so integral to their relationship, as strained as it can be, is not there yet. They're both floundering, especially when they meet their doppelgangers... and their families. There's a moment between Clark and Ma Kent that nearly made me burst into tears. It's so honest and brutally evocative, like touching a raw nerve, through the exploration of the type of loss that most of us have suffered at some point in our lives. Greg Pak, you magnificent bastard, you got me weepy before 8am and I am thanking you for it. Don't worry, tougher readers than I: the rest of the book is balanced out by great action scenes, really funny interactions and some great "What If?" type of twists.

Oh and is it ever beautiful. Illustrated entirely by Jae Lee this time (smashing my theory behind having two artists to pieces), his layouts are simpler in this issue but the impact of each panel is just as great. His style may be better suited to Batman, who wears Lee's signature heavy shadows well, but his interpretation of Superman is refreshing. The Man of Steel looks every bit as powerful as he should, but there is a gentleness to his features that belies the good man underneath -- when he's not in battle, that is. Lee showcases a full gamut of emotions on all the characters, with Supes quickly toggling between kind and concerned, straight to downright scarily enraged when he's fighting. The way he draws Catwoman is truly inspired: she's never looked so impossibly sexy, languid, feline and otherworldly beautiful, all at the same time. She's an erotic shadow come to life, who will kick your ass between quips. Amazing.

This is an excellent series for pretty much anyone with even a passing interest in Batman or Superman. Whether you're a fan that recognizes where Pak drew inspiration for aspects of their alternate selves, or entirely new to the DC Universe, Batman/Superman is an amazing combination of refreshingly unique and comfortably familiar, wrapped in a visually stunning bow.

Well, go on. Give it a read and tell me I'm wrong!

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