Batman/Superman #1 (DC Comics)
Every few years DC restarts a team up book for Batman and Superman, and it seems we’re about due for a new one. Unlike previous Superman and Batman series, Batman/Superman #1 is deeply rooted in the main continuity of the DC universe, and directly follows the events of the Batman Who Laughs miniseries that just wrapped up. However, those that didn’t follow that series won’t be completely lost, as the Joshua Williamson and David Marquez debut issue does a pretty good job of serving as an entry point into the modern day DC universe and it’s happenings.
Since the events of the Batman Who Laughs, the dark universe Batman has been pulling the strings of our Batman, teasing him with the idea that someone, anyone, and everyone is infected by his batarangs, and slowly turning into monstrous versions of themselves. When a young boy goes missing in Gotham, Batman calls upon his old pal Superman to assist him in the search, and gain insight into if Superman has the right contingency plan for if Batman ever went off the deep end. Of course, Superman would never think that one of his closest allies would ever go rogue, but he may need to start thinking that way if they’re going to defeat the Batman Who Laughs, who has already started infecting some of the strongest heroes of the DC Universe to fight for him.
Joshua Williamson’s script is very much tied to the events of The Batman Who Laughs, but it’s also fairly open to newcomers checking out the DC universe for the first time (or after a lengthy hiatus). Like his work on The Flash, Williamson has a strong handle on both Batman and Superman that goes beyond the obvious “Superman is light and Batman is dark” dichotomy that a lot of writers fall into. Williamson’s script is also filled with some fun asides and curves that I wasn’t expecting, especially when you discover which hero is the first to be infected.
David Marquez is well known for his fantastic art on titles like Invincible Iron Man, and it’s a real treat to see him bring his talents to the distinguished competition. His style works extremely well for a book like this, with a great sense of action and mood that is able to work for the moments of bombast and quiet that Williamson’s script provides. Marquez is a great “get” for the publisher, and it looks like it’ll be a worthwhile investment for them.
Batman/Superman may be yet another series pairing up the two most well-known heroes in comics, but it looks to making it’s own mark on the comic racks by continuing the story of the Batman Who Laughs’ reign of terror in the DC universe, and the overarching “Year of the Villain” initiative that the publisher is putting out. While there’s no main “Year of the Villain” series to follow, it looks like this series and Justice League will be the ones to keep up with, and judging from this first issue, it’s going to be a wild ride.