Friday, September 24, 2010

Review: Superman/Batman - Supergirl

A girl from another planet, with amazing powers but completely untrained in how to use them. Who among her teachers - all with much the same powers - will have the most influence over her? Will she follow a dark path siding against her friends and family - or will she ultimately be redeemed? I skipped over the first volume of Superman/Batman (this is an ongoing series of miniseries at DC, with each story arc being collected into trade paperback) – not because I heard bad things about it, because I’ve always liked Supergirl. This was to be the story that re-introduced her to the DC fold after her death during Crisis of Infinite Earths many moons ago. Plus, this was drawn by the brilliant, late Michael Turner (who passed on way too young) – well, this book has been calling to me for a long time. It doesn’t disappoint. From the introduction of a naked girl running through the streets of Gotham City all the way to the final battle with Darkseid, “Supergirl” was a really great Superman story. At the heart of this one, Clark is hoping that this girl really is who she says she is, hoping that he’s no longer the last one of his people. Batman,on the other hand, plays his part well in this story, keeping the reader ever aware that things that are too good to be true often are by not trusting this girl who claims to be from another world. The series of adventures will take them to Paradise Island, the home of the Amazons and Wonder Woman (who will help oversee the training of the young Supergirl) to the far off war-torn world of Apokolips. Superman, at Akokolips, will have to face his greatest fear – a girl who may be the only other Kryptonian in existence used as a weapon against him – and the only way to defeat her may be to kill her. This was a great story; it hooked me from the get-go and made me want to keep right on reading to the end. Unlike many comic TPBs (where I’ll take frequent breaks between issues), I read this in one sitting. There are multiple big screen battles and betrayals like Superman leading the Amazons against an army of Doomsday clones in use by Darkseid. There are also great smaller moments where you see the friendship that exists between Clark and Batman, or Clark’s desire to continue to have hope in someone long after everyone else has given up. As expected, the art is fantastic – really the perfect match to an already excellent story story. There’s even a sketch section at the back of the book to see more of what Turner was doing with these characters. I may not continue to read more of the Superman/Batman book, which changes writers & artists with each new arc, but I’ll definitely be seeking out more Supergirl collections in the future as well as more of the work of Michael Turner. Either way, if you’re a fan of any of these characters, this was a highly entertaining book and I highly recommend it.

3 comments:

Nick said...

Michael Turner's art was what first grabbed my attention with this series. But the storylines were pretty good too. The "World's Finest" concept of teaming up Superman and Batman was always tricky for me, because each hero has such a different style, but in this series, I think they managed to really make it work in a very entertaining way. And Supergirl, of course, is another of my favorites. In my opinion, in the past they messed up the character, but here she finally comes into her own.

Scott said...

Yeah, Supergirl really shines in this book! No question. that said, you ought to pick up the current Supergirl ongoing as it deals with some great stories.

Not to mention that the new WB animated DC movie Superman Batman: Apocalypse that comes out next Tuesday is this story actually! So it will be nice to see it animated.

And yeah, Mike turner died WAY to young for a talent of his caliber.

Stewart Sternberg said...

I love this initial story and the treatment of Batman. However, let me address the Batman Superman line. It is a shamefully inconsistently written series. Sometimes it's wonderful, and sometimes, it's downright idiotic. Who can forget Wonder Woman finding Uncle Sam in the New York subway (yes, Skinny Uncle Sam, with white goatee and star and striped hat). I am not ordinarily a fan of DC.